By Søren Birk
When I was a child I couldn’t read at all. The only thing I actually read was comics and I read them my way. My way to read a comic was not to read the text but only look at the images and build my own story based on them. My guess is that I sometimes ended up with a more exciting story than the writer had in mind and sometimes the opposite.
However, this wasn’t good enough in secondary school where images were irrelevant compared to the text in textbooks. When I came home with bad grades on my tests, my parents were very disappointed. My dad forced me to practice much more because he thought I was too lazy. I practiced and practiced although there still wasn’t any interest in reading.
Some years later I finally found out I was dyslexic. In other words my skills of reading was what you might expect from someone who was 6 years old not 13. Because of this my mum responded by finding an alternative therapist that could help me to become “normal” again.
The treatment wasn’t about spelling tests and dictation but about sending sound waves through my body to change the way my ears worked. More specifically I needed to wear headphones every morning and listen to very strange noises eg. the noise of a power drill. I also needed to sit on a wooden box with a speaker in that allowed my body to absorb sound waves and cure the way my body defined sounds. A very alternative treatment.
After a year I was “cured” and was now at the level as I should be. Although I was cured it didn’t mean I found books interesting. I had absolutely no interest in reading them I would much rather do sports at a high level or build something out of wood, iron or electronics. Work that was much more hands on.
The interest in reading books actually first came when I started reading the books that were on the mandatory reading list from SCA. Even though they were in English which also was an obstacle for me, I found them so interesting that I surprised myself and thought “why haven’t I read books before”. I basically got blown away with what words could do to me. I suddenly got a lot out of reading other people’s interpretations of how to understand the world of advertising.
People have told me all my life that it’s much better to read books than watch movies. Now I finally understand that feeling.
I now find reading books as an essential thing of my foundation in life and would find it very strange not to be inspired by words, thoughts, lines and stories.
“Write to be understood. Speak to be heard. Read to grow”
Lawrence Clark Powell