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I Read by Richard Peck

So I'm probably the only person in the world whose not seen this before. Shared by an art teacher in our district this back-to-school week for staff.

Why do you read?

I Read by Richard Peck

I read because one
 life isn’t enough, and 
in the pages of a book I can be anybody;

I read because the 
words that build 
the story become mine, 
to build my life;

I read not for happy
 endings but for new
 beginnings; I’m just
 beginning myself, and 
I wouldn’t mind a map;

I read because I have
 friends who don’t, and
 young though they are,
 they’re beginning to
 run out of material;

I read because every
 journey begins at 
the library, and it’s
 time for me to start 

I read because one
 of these days I’m going
 to get out of this
 town, and I’m going to
 go everywhere and meet
 everyone, and I want
 to be ready.”

–Richard Peck, author
, Zihuatanejo, Mexico, 

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Reader Comments (3)

I too have not seen this before, but it is going up on my classroom wall. Thank you!

August 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCommuting Teacher

That poem was first published in Peck's memoir *Anonymously Yours*, Messner, 1991. Here's the prologue to the poem:
[Writing is] "a field in which nobody wants to see my transcript, and nobody cares where I went to college, or if. And while I was never in the gifted program, it's just as well because in real life , there is no gifted program. A writer can't help but divide all the world he knows between readers and nonreaders. I can only reach for the readers, and through them, the future."

September 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteralice yucht

Thanks for the source, Alice. I was just too lazy to look!


September 2, 2011 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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