Friday, May 18, 2012

I Can't Read

I stood staring at him, too shocked to answer. The forty-sish man I'd offered one of my books to at a bookstore signing said words I never thought I'd hear from anyone his age:


"Noooooooo," I wanted to cry. Instead, I rushed back to my book table, my heart sore, groping to understand.

No one in this world, in this era, should be without the gift of reading. I still can barely grasp that someone his age misssed that opportunity. Or hasn't the ability, for whatever reason.

I want to find him, and offer to teach him to read. I can't stand the thought that he lives in a world of only images, wordless, story-less, book-less.

Can I cry now?


  1. Don't cry! I'm very sad he can't read but the imagination is not limited to words, so I don't think he'll be storyless. ;-) Still, if you see him again I believe there are wonderful resources out there for this.

  2. Ditto exactly what Jessica Nelson said!
    Blessings, Jeanette.

  3. And lets not forget about escapism. Sometimes we read to get away, or fall into another time. What does someone not able to read do about this loss.
    Being transported to another place is so nice to have available. So we should all remember to reach out and help.

  4. That is sad! I cannot imagine not being able to read!

    I pray that he is able to listen to good books and enjoy audio dramas!

  5. Reading is a vibrant part of my life, and yours. It is sad to not be able to pass along a passion of ours to someone else due to him/her not having the ability to receive it. May this man's life be blessed by God in many, many other ways. You have a kind heart Jen!

  6. Thanks for your encouragement. This is the first time I've met a grown person who couldn't read...

  7. One of my favorite things is teaching kids to read. I have often wished I had a way of finding adults in my are who can't read. I would love to teach them, too.

  8. Teaching children is a different process because you start with language and add alphabet and letters and sounds. Perhaps there is a certain system that would wort best with adults.

  9. Jeanette:
    In our county, there is a literacy coalition that has volunteers whose task is to teach those who can't read.
    A couple at our church are involved with the dyslexia institute of Indiana. I believe there is a national group devoted to tutoring children who have dyslexia, a major cause of not being able to read. I'll email you some links about these organizations.

  10. It certainly does seem Hard to believe, that in this day and age, someone out there, still can not read.
    What a GIFT to be able to read.
    This poor man certainly is deprived of many wonderful things without that ability.
    Please.......yes, someone teach him.

  11. Perhaps he has dyslexia.

    How poor my life would be without the ability to read. Reading opens so many doors to learning.

  12. That's sad. I hope he learns to read soon. I read to escape and to be inspired. I hope he has other outlets of escape and inspiration.

    You're sweet, Jeanette.



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