Dyslexia: The Reading Room By Quarantine Theatre In Central Library With Jules Styles

A small circular byphoto and byline of me Nikki Wordsmith. I am wearing my blue Wikipedia cap, cherry red Berghaus coat, green Lacoste tailored trousers and maroon New Balance trainers. 
I am standing behind a fence on top of The Pike, a local hill, with my arms spread out on the top piece of wood of a fence. There are words carved into the wood that say, "Do more than just exist" and "I love you". One leg rests on the bottom rung of the fence in a jaunty manner. Somehow I have become the stereotypical middle-aged outdoorsy looking lesbian I used to see as a kid. This is inspite of being a shy and sensitive writer and not the outdoors type at all. Go figure!
by Nikki Wordsmith

As it’s National Dyslexia Week, here’s a blog from the Nikki Wordsmith archives that touches on this topic in a celebratory neurodivergent way with the help of professional dog walker Jules Styles.

Jules Styles in the 1980s.

“I’ve never been in here before,” said Jules Styles walking about wide-eyed in Manchester Central Library.

It is the evening of Quarantine’s literary cum reality theatre evening in the enormous and graciously domed Reading Room.

“It is completely overwhelming,” she said as she sat down at my table where I was going to tell the audience about one of my favourite books – The Price of Salt by Claire Morgan, more lately well-known as Carol by Patricia Highsmith.

Despite Jules being a resident of Manchester for more than twenty years, where she now runs Dog Squad, a dog walking business, it’s not really surprising that reading is not one of her favourite things to do.

As an undiagnosed dyslexic at school in the 1980s, Jules was bullied by her fellow class-mates.

“School was pretty harsh,” she said.

“I was dragged out of the classroom for special lessons and the other kids used to call me all sorts of names.

“I used to hate standing up in class to read out loud. I didn’t know what words look like so I didn’t know what they meant and I used to get laughed at, it was horrible really.

“Books are not my thing and libraries are scare me.”

Carry On Reading About Dyslexia, Jules Styles, Patricia Highsmith And The Reading Room Event By Quarantine Theatre Company…

The Reading Room by Quarantine in Central Library
A black and grey round graphic map that looks like an eyeball, that is a map of the Reading Room in Manchester Central Library. All the tables are set out in concentric circles and labled from a letter in the English alphabet.

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