The purpose of this study is to explore the contours of the view of reading of 18 th century France through a reading of Madame Beaumont’s original “Beauty and the Beast”. The conclusion of this paper is that, in didactic stories made for children, Madame Beaumont included a simple but strong message of enlightenment through reading. “Beauty and the Beast” is a typical example of her writing. However, she satirized people who used books for only superficial dignity and readers of novels whose reading habits could be harmful. These examples illustrate that Madame Beaumont’s intention was to show an ideal form of reading to children. It is also inferred that her ideal of reading represented and proclaimed a newway of reading for her contemporaries who had been seeking a new way of education.