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15. Why Read?

I couldn’t read till the age of 10 – not at all. My parents sent me to a spechal school for dyslexic purpils in Pimlico. Each day, aged 8, I would take the 88 bus home to Clapham. If the bus broke down on rounte or decided to terminate half way I would take out my mobile (brough for exactly this purpus) and call home. Mum would ask what I could see in order to try and figure out where I was: trees, cars, buildings. I would find a street sign and spell out the letters best I could: ‘Sout Lamdeth Roab’. She would then come and get me in the car.

After 2 years of daily one-to-one reading lessions I creacked it and moved back in to main stream education. But this struggle to learn has left me with a odd hang-up. For me reading and ‘being good’ is the same thing; there is nothing more important I should be doing, I never think of it as a waste of time or being lazy. It is an important part of life that has to be done. This makes it sound like a chor or a punishment but I don’t mean it to. I love reading and I use it to make myself feel better. If I’m restless, feeling guilty or distatefied I sit and read a novel for a couple of hour and feel that I have both achieved something and am a ‘better’ person for it. I only ever read fiction and never trashy books. 14 years on from the bus stop I have an English degree and work in communications, although, sadly my spelling is still crap.

Why Read?

I couldn’t read till the age of 10 – not at all. My parents sent me to a special school for dyslexic pupils in Pimlico. Each day, aged 8, I would take the 88 bus home to Clapham. If the bus broke down on route or decided to terminate half way I would take out my mobile (bought for exactly this purpose) and call home. Mum would ask what I could see in order to try and figure out where I was: trees, cars, buildings. I would find a street sign and spell out the letters best I could: ‘South Lambeth Road’. She would then come and get me in the car.

After 2 years of daily one-to-one reading lessons I cracked it and moved back in to main stream education. But this struggle to learn has left me with a odd hang-up. For me reading and ‘being good’ is the same thing; there is nothing more important I should be doing, I never think of it as a waste of time or being lazy. It is an important part of life that has to be done. This makes it sound like a chore or a punishment but I don’t mean it to. I love reading and I use it to make myself feel better. If I’m restless, feeling guilty or dissatisfied I sit and read a novel for a couple of hours, and feel that I have both achieved something and am a ‘better’ person for it. I only ever read fiction and never trashy books. 14 years on from the bus stop I have an English degree and work in communications, although, sadly my spelling is still crap.

Olivia Amory

http://www.ideastap.com/People/fdcdcddc-3beb-49fe-9e3c-9ea8009b1dbe

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