The amazing story of the writer who couldn't read
One morning in 2001, Canadian novelist Howard Engel woke up to find that the words on the page had turned to gibberish and he could no longer read. His story reminds us just how important reading is to writing.
Nearly every list of tips on becoming a better writer suggests you should read as much as you can. So imagine being a writer and not even being able to read your own books.
Engel's word-blindness was caused by a stroke. His brain could no longer process the shapes of letters and words and assign them meaning.
NPR reports that Engel was eventually able to teach himself to read again – by using his tongue to trace the shape of letters on the roof of his mouth.
It's an amazing story, one that makes me grateful that I can see the words on the page and determined to get through more of the books on my reading list.
I'm going to start with Engel's memoir – The Man Who Forgot How to Read.