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The Pavement Bookworm: A True Story

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Meet 24-year-old Philani Dladla who has one of the most inspiring young South African stories you're ever likely to encounter. An avid reader with an insatiable desire for knowledge, Philani has used his love for books to overcome drug addiction and change his lot in life - while trying to do the same for others.

Growing up in rural KZN, Philani was a pre-teen when his moth
Paperback, 200 pages
Published October 28th 2015 by BlackBird Books
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Sharon Metcalf
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, logan-bookclub
The Pavement Bookworm shares the story of a young African man who turned his life around from being a homeless drug addict who at one stage attemped suicide, to one who dedicated his life to sharing his love of books and learning with others and not only encouraged underprivileged children but enabled them to discover the thrill of reading.

In all honesty the writing is not that great. Philani is often repetitive and at times it felt immature. He painted a picture of a culture of theft, violence
Jan 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: african-lit
The Pavement Bookworm is an important book. Not because it offers a unique style or narrative (it doesn’t) but because of what it represents - hope. Philani Dlada first came to our attention on social media around two years ago - he was the gentleman who sold books and book reviews on Empire Road and later Gleneagles Road. In his debut, an autobiography, he tells the story of his life - one filled with drugs, homelessness and ultimately redemption.

The importance of The Pavement Bookworm lies in
Puleng Hopper
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it

A compelling autographical story of how books saved the life of a drug user, school drop out, homeless, suicidal, wayward boy from Port Shepston Natal.

A story of hope, humanity and second chances. What spoke to me the most was the power of good and sustainable networks and networking, that let to Philani Dladlas victory and sucesss. A reconfirmation that there are still good Samaritans out there ,even in the concrete jungle of Jozi. The book reminded me of elements in 13 cents by Sello Duiker.
Feb 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Chatty account of the author’s self-salvation from drug addiction, violence and homelessness through selling books by the side of the road in central Johannesburg. Easy and inspirational read.
Margie Jeursen
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very inspiring read of a street kid, who loves reading, acquires books, tells passing drivers at his robot spot about these books and sells books to these same people. He kicks his drug habit and through his love of books and kids, uses his time and resources to teach kids to read, love and appreciate books and has started a book club in Joubert Park for the kids he teaches. Success and happiness for Philani is to help others and uses the money he makes to this end. Very uplifting book.
Kgalalelo Morwe
Jun 27, 2016 rated it liked it
A good and easy read that chronicles the life of Philani Dladla in the streets of Johannesburg. Philani Dladla takes the reader through his journey, life challenges, his battle with drug addiction and how he managed to reclaim his life. My take away from this book: Life is not easy, but you always have to be resilient, you have to push harder and fight for your dreams.
Chérie Armitage-Graves
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: inspirational
Exceptional, inspirational book that I want to now read to my sons 💞
Denira Varma
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Incredible story. This is a short, easy read that chronicles the life of a young man who found his passion and life's purpose in books. It's an easy read, told with unflinching honesty. Philani's tale and those who supported him in his journey remind me that there are so many great people in our country willing to help, willing to make a change. You can't help but walk away with a great sense of respect and admiration for Philani. Well worth the read ...more
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
An incredibly inspiring story, with a very honest account of the realities of drug abuse and living on the streets of Johannesburg. The wording is a bit repetitive at times, but easy to overlook as you will be amazing at just how lucky this young man has been to survive all that he has survived; and amazed by his strength to ultimately get off drugs for good and put others before him.
Mark Renaud
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
An inspiring story of a young person who has made something of his life in the face of huge and sometimes overwhelming obstacles! This book also reflects the power of story and books to give meaning to life!
Zinhle Ngidi
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it

The Pavement Bookworm by Philani Dladla(2015)

About the book:
The book is about how books changed Philani from drug abuse to be where he is today. It’s a true story of a young man (Philani) who used to stand in the streets of Jozi selling books, and give book reviews on Empire road to motorists and Wits University students and staff. In the beginning he used money that he earned to buy drugs. A homeless young man from Oshabeni (South Coast of Durban- Portshepstone) that lived under Mandela bridge
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in one of the lowest points in my year and I must say it has galvanized me to remain hopeful. When you are a cautious person, life's mistakes can be quite detrimental. However, through this book Philani has taught me that life is not a game of limited chances. But rather, a sphere of endless possibilities for success, overcoming adveristy and reaching happiness. Thank you very much for this book my brother. You have saved my life 🙏🏿 ...more
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Twenty four year old Philani Dladla is one of the most inspirational young South Africans you’re likely to meet. An avid reader with an insatiable desire for knowledge, Philani has used his love for books to overcome drug addiction and change his lot in life – while trying to do the same for others.

Dubbed ‘The Pavement Bookworm’, Philani’s story has gained international attention – which he hopes

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