Gary Paulsen

Gary Paulsen

in Minneapolis, Minnesota, The United States
May 17, 1939



Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read--along with his own library card--he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adventure. A youthful summer of rigorous chores on a farm; jobs as an engineer, construction worker, ranch hand, truck driver, and sailor; and two rounds of the 1,180-mile Alaskan dog sled race, the Iditarod; have provided ample material from which he creates his stories.

Paulsen and his wife, Ruth Wright Paulsen, an artist who has illustrated several o

Average rating: 3.73 · 321,477 ratings · 21,772 reviews · 208 distinct works · Similar authors
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“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.”
Gary Paulsen, The Winter Room

“I read like a wolf eats.
I read myself to sleep every night.”
Gary Paulsen

“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.”
Gary Paulsen, Shelf Life: Stories by the Book


What book should we read in December?

This is the final book of the month this year, so let me know if you would like a book added to the poll.

  9 votes 30.0%

  8 votes 26.7%

  7 votes 23.3%

  2 votes 6.7%

  2 votes 6.7%

  1 vote 3.3%

  1 vote 3.3%

  0 votes 0.0%

30 total votes
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