If you like the review, he will sell you the book

You would read about him twice on Huffington Post on Facebook. I did. It was when, in a picture of him I saw the books beside him that I found him on twitter; there was no way I was going to pass on the opportunity to talk with him about his Grisham, Dan brown, Jodi Picoult and Tami Hoag. So I tweeted at him. I wanted to know if, like my friend Keshi, he also thought Jodi Picoult was a tortured writer, a lot like Danielle steelle (keshi insists)

I got more than a book conversation. I met a young South African who more than loved books and appreciated literature. Literature had literally saved his life, now he’ll share that love with people. They call him The Pavement Bookworm, he’s 24 years old

His life has not been cushioned at all, he had struggled with drug addiction, homelessness, overcame his addiction by reading self help books, The Pavement Bookworm has become a role model on the power of reading.

His story is incredible. As he interacts with passers by in Johannesburg, he reviews books and if you like the review, he will sell the book to you, he has a code though: he’ll never sell a book to a child. He gives it to them free.
Read through his tweets and you would meet a young man who cares not for a lot more than getting his world not only to read but to be better.

His real name is Philani Dladla, he recently delivered a TedxJoburg speech titled ‘We the people’ and has this to say “I hate drugs because I know what drugs can do to you; and drugs can turn you into a money making machine. You can work four hours, you get four hundred and go spend that four hundred in four minutes. So four hours, four hundred, four minutes all gone. Just imagine all that effort…. I promise, reading is not harmful…”

Find him and be amazed yourself: on facebook Philanibooks Dladla
On twitter @bookvsdruggs
remember you can:

Follow and open a conversation with my team on twitter @openbooknigeria

me directly @ndubuisithe5th

#GetInvolved #ReadNigeria



  1. Ajuluchukwu · · Reply

    Am in love with this descriptive flow. Nice piece, you must be a detailed lover.


    1. thanks Ajuluchukwu


  2. kelechianabaraonye · · Reply

    I love this. Its very good. I think people should get to engage in reading. Reading is a very good hobby. The roadside bookworm has so much passion in reading books, and he’s also doing a wonderful job to review books to people and sell it to them, while dashing books to the children.


    1. he is. very much so. thanks for stopping by


  3. Nice…are u sure I had nothing to say about Danielle Steel??? I mean I read more of her books than Kesh did!!!


    1. LOL. forgive me Deinmo dearest. i”m very sure you do actually


  4. keshi anwuli · · Reply

    Don’t be a hater deinmo. Nevertheless, I love me some jodi picoult books especially the pact, her flowery use of words to describe things momentarily rendered me seechless. Am in love with words, it literally can describe every emotion of mine. Olivia, I hope u re happy now


    1. very much so Keshi. thanks for your time. i also thought ‘the pact’ was a fantastic read


  5. Naaah,Jodi Picoult is nothing like Danielle Steele. I tink she just helps us 2 see tins byond d normal way we know dem 2 be. DS, on d oda hand,is just a bigtime sadist..
    Yea,ppl READ!! Olivia and OBN and ds guy now’ve bn yelling it over d top of their heads since 4eva. READ!!!


    1. Jodi Picoult writes sad too, a lot like Nicholas Sparks. but i’m a believer: Danielle Steele is the mother of them all.LOL thanks Jane for lending your voice to the #read campaign


  6. Anhydrous · · Reply

    Whoopee! I think I like this guy. Now, I vividly remember a piece I wrote a while ago when I observed how people ‘amassed’ books but never cared the littlest bit about reading them, as if books bite. I’d rather be bitten by a book…


    1. don’t think it has happened to me though. i do know some folks it has happened to; get books but don’t read. for such people, a vacation will be pure heaven!


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