Happy Birthday, Gary Paulsen, born 17 May 1939
- If books could have more, give more, be more, show more, they would still need readers who bring to them sound and smell and light and all the rest that can’t be in books. The book needs you.
- Name the book that made the biggest impression on you. I bet you read it before you hit puberty. In the time I’ve got left, I intend to write artistic books – for kids – because they’re still open to new ideas.
- I read like a wolf eats. I read myself to sleep every night.
- I owe everything I am and everything I will ever be to books.
Why do I read?
I just can’t help myself.
I read to learn and to grow, to laugh
and to be motivated.
I read to understand things I’ve never
been exposed to.
I read when I’m crabby, when I’ve just
said monumentally dumb things to the
people I love.
I read for strength to help me when I
feel broken, discouraged, and afraid.
I read when I’m angry at the whole
I read when everything is going right.
I read to find hope.
I read because I’m made up not just of
skin and bones, of sights, feelings,
and a deep need for chocolate, but I’m
also made up of words.
Words describe my thoughts and what’s
hidden in my heart.
Words are alive—when I’ve found a
story that I love, I read it again and
again, like playing a favorite song
over and over.
Reading isn’t passive—I enter the
story with the characters, breathe
their air, feel their frustrations,
scream at them to stop when they’re
about to do something stupid, cry with
them, laugh with them.
Reading for me, is spending time with a
A book is a friend.
You can never have too many.
Paulsen is an American author of more than 200 books. He is best known for his young adult literature, coming of age stories about the wilderness. His three most famous novels are Hatchet, Winter Room, and Dogsong. He won the Margaret Edwards Award from the American Library Association in 1997 for his lifetime contribution in writing for teens.