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The Pavement Bookworm

This story was making the rounds a few weeks ago and because of my blog vacation I missed it, but it’s too good not to share with you today.

They call him “The Pavement Bookworm.” Philani is a 24-year-old homeless man in Johannesburg.

Instead of holding a sign or begging with a hat, Philani reviews books. He sits on a street corner with a pile of books and offers to review those books to passers-by. If someone thinks the book sounds promising, they can buy it directly from Philani.

By selling the books, he raises money for himself and his homeless friends. He’s doing something to make his life better in a practical way. Now, his story has gone viral. 

A South African director named Tebogo Malope recently posted an online interview with Philani, and the young man is as inspiring as you would think.

“He’s a great role model on the power of reading and can be an amazing ambassador for our young people,” Malope said.

Philani says he discovered the value of reading after he recovered from a drug addiction by reading self-help books.

You’re awesome, Philani.

Let’s send this guy some books. If you’d like to help, you can contact Tebogo Malope on Facebook.

Here’s a little more about Philani.

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27 Comments Post a comment
  1. Alison Marie #

    Great and practical idea! Very inspirational! When I was writing a book a year ago, I worked from a library where many homeless people used to hang out, I was always baffled by the fact they were sitting in a place full of tons of free resources to improve their education and increase their opportunities, books, journals, computers etc yet they chose to just sit around rolling self made cigarettes or read the same trash newspaper over and over again.

    Like

    July 9, 2014
  2. What an awesome story! I loved this, heartwarming, inspiring, a story of one of Gods own angels I think 🙂

    Wonderful 🙂

    Like

    July 9, 2014
  3. What a wonderful story. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Like

    July 9, 2014
  4. I love his statement: “Reading can only make you a better person.”

    Like

    July 9, 2014
  5. Philani is brilliant…what an inspiring story…shows you can make lemonade out of lemons all right! As for reading making us better people, obviously in his case it has.

    Like

    July 9, 2014
  6. The story kind of restores my belief in books and readership, in humanity. Philani I am sure is better than countless blogs that pass for book reviews.

    Like

    July 9, 2014
  7. Thanks for sharing. I never even heard about Philani but what a great person he is. We all can learn something from his example.

    Like

    July 9, 2014
  8. Reblogged this on Hello from me to you and commented:
    Must read!!!!!

    Like

    July 9, 2014
  9. Never underestimate the power of inspiration.

    Like

    July 9, 2014
  10. Reblogged this on Books, Movies, and More and commented:
    This guy is amazing.

    Like

    July 9, 2014
  11. Reblogged this on Communicate! and commented:
    Here’s a post, with a video, extolling the power of books.

    Like

    July 10, 2014
  12. Reblogged this on Diary of an Introverted Schmuck and commented:
    Philani is a true inspiration to all of us!

    Like

    July 10, 2014
  13. Reblogged this on Readage.

    Like

    July 10, 2014
  14. Wonderful idea, great story!

    Like

    July 10, 2014
  15. What an inspirational story!!!

    Like

    July 11, 2014
  16. Reblogged this on On The Road with Ms. M. and commented:
    101 Books is the blog of Robert Bruce of Nashville, Tennessee. He is a full time writer and in addition to trying to read the Time Magazine’s 100 greatest novels + Ulysses, he finds really interesting items to share that are book-related. This story about a 24-year-old homeless man in Johannesburg is a prime example of the great items on his site. I think you’ll enjoy reading about “The Pavement Bookworm” and there is a link you can follow if you feel you want to help him out by sending books. Enjoy!

    Like

    July 13, 2014
  17. I love this story. Does the heart good to hear about the positive power of books. Someone should write a book about him. 🙂

    Like

    July 14, 2014
  18. Inspiring and amazing!

    Like

    September 3, 2014
  19. Great story – all the best to Philani. Also shows that there is still a valuable place for physical books.

    Like

    September 13, 2014
  20. Fabulous! Thanks!

    Like

    April 10, 2015

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The Pavement Bookworm | Ce'Marie World
  2. ספרות ברשת: נפטרה הסופרת זוכת פרס נובל נאדין גורדימר; נמחקה הבקשה למנות מפרק זמני לסטימצקי; אפל תפצה צרכנים ב-450 מיליון דולר בגלל תיאום מחירי
  3. “The Pavement Bookworm” Philani Dladla to Give TEDx Talk (Plus: Twitter Interview) | Books LIVE
  4. ספרות ברשת: נפטרה הסופרת זוכת פרס נובל נאדין גורדימר; נמחקה הבקשה למנות מפרק זמני לסטימצקי; אפל תפצה צרכנים ב-450 מיליון דולר בגלל תיאום מחירי

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