Ramblings of a searching entre

Ramblings of a searching entrepreneur — Reading, I’ve missed out

Saffa expat in the UK Ed Fox is our resident rambling entrepreneur. This week he muses on the role reading has played in his life

Ramblings of a searching entre

“The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.”
— Abraham Lincoln

I’m one of those blokes, that is assuming there are others out there like me, who never had the time or inclination to read. I always had an excuse, or something more supposedly important to do.

It’s a sad admission (but I suppose that’s the purpose of these ramblings) that I have never read a physical book. It’s taken me 30 odd years to realise that I’ve missed out.

I was recommended to read a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, as it might help me in the process of searching for clarity in my life. Knowing I wanted to read the book, but would never manage a physical book, I discovered an alternative — audio books. Without wanting to sound like a sponsored ambassador for Amazon, it has revolutionised my life. Being able to consume a book in a predetermined number of hours is brilliant; I can even measure how quickly I’ll read a book based on the number of meetings I’ll be commuting to from South West London in a week.

Strangely, but maybe not so strangely, I committed to reading to my children when they were born –in fact before they were born, in my wife’s womb. I don’t remember my parents reading to me. Is that the reason for wanting to read to my children? I think deep down I know I’ve missed something big and I don’t want them to miss.

I think reading has had a profound effect on my life. I’m no physiologist or education specialist, but I expect that a lack of reading explains my inability to spell, write, or why academically I struggled and was never any good at Trivial Pursuit.

In Standard Three [Grade Five in todays language], my parents realised they needed to do something. I remember being driven weekly, on a Friday afternoon to a specialist reading school. It was a weekly ritual I hated, as I reflect on it today it felt like going to an institution for a disability. I expect at 10 years old it did nothing for my confidence, and provided little improvement of my reading.

Hey, at least I’ve made it this far and I’m able to cobble these words together, which I hope make some sense, so all is not lost.