This chapter discusses the importance of reading as an overarching theme in Don Quixote (1605–1615). Don Quixote’s madness is a result of his reading, and Cervantes’s masterpiece can be seen as a humorous and ingenious reflection on good and bad reading. Reading is a central topic of discussion among the novel’s characters, shaping them as different types of readers. By showing how various central figures in the narrative are characterized through their reading, we focus on key genres of the Golden Age (chivalric, picaresque and pastoral novel) which Cervantes artfully parodied and transformed. Since Don Quixote is also essentially an exploration of the changes and perils of reading, the focus on the theme of reading shows that the modernity of Don Quixote is predicated on the notion of metatextuality, the idea that literature is always a reflection on its own techniques and the status of fiction as fiction.