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Learning to read himself, author hopes to inspire others

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Tramble flips through his book, which he wrote with the help of his tutors at Cape Fear Literacy Council. Tramble flips through his book, which he wrote with the help of his tutors at Cape Fear Literacy Council.
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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – A man who couldn't read to his own son just a few years ago is now hoping the thousands of adults who can't read in New Hanover County will learn from his story.

James Tramble, a current student at the Cape Fear Literacy Council, is working with his tutors to inspire people to put their pride aside and ask for help.

The DJ Who Made People Happy…But Couldn't Read is Tramble's story. The 65-year-old man worked as a DJ around Wilmington without knowing how to read.

He said he memorized the popular songs and made his own system for marking which records to play.

"I would listen to everybody else play and I'd go buy that same record," he said. "I would mark that record and see when the crowd jumps off."

Tramble said friends would call him names, which pushed him to improve his skills as a DJ. As he entertained crowds of hundreds of people, Tramble said no one knew he was illiterate.

In his 60s, Tramble said one person finally gave him reason to read – his son.

"It hurt me in my heart that I couldn't read to him," he said.

He's been working with the volunteers at Cape Fear Literacy Council for three years and now Tramble can share Green Eggs & Ham with his son, but it's the book that he and his tutors put together that his focus for the time being.

The DJ Who Made People Happy…But Couldn't Read is dedicated to Tramble's mother, but it is intended for anyone who needs some inspiration for learning to read.

The book sells for $20 with the proceeds benefiting the Cape Fear Literacy Council.

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