Richard Rodriguez's Strange Tools

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In the selection, “Strange Tools,” Richard Rodriguez explains how he started reading books to excel academically, as if books were merely a peculiar means of improving himself. He begins his writing by showing the reader his initial experiences with reading. He conveys that neither of his parents read for pleasure, but simply for business or as a way to communicate with distant family; he never saw his parents read an entire book. Rodriguez begins to consider the idea of a “scholarship boy” described by Richard Hoggart. Rodriguez relays how his upbringing shaped the way he approached reading by quoting his mother: “Don’t write in your books so we can sell your books at the end of the year.” He quickly transitions into the difficulties he

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