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Episode 7: Gaining Literacy in Adulthood and the Power of Books

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

In This Episode:

  • Books matter.

  • Education comes in many shapes and sizes.

  • It is never too late to learn.

  • Our kids learn by example. Show them who you want them to become.

  • Sometimes we don't know something was wrong until we see it from someone else's perspective.

  • Whether it is reading, exercise, or something else that challenges you, it is worth the struggle to keep growing.

  • Books can help you process emotions.

More About Oliver James

Oliver was born and raised in Pennsylvania with his mom and sister. In elementary school he was placed into special education classroom and was abused at the hands of his teacher. He began to associate learning with physical restraint and did not enjoy his time at school. He found a way to slip through the cracks and graduate high school with a first to second grade reading level.

After falling into trouble with the law and spending 54 months in prison, Oliver realized he had a love for fitness and began his own personal training business. The Covid pandemic changed the way he had to train which led him to pack up and move to California. After his big move, he found out that he was going to be a father. This was another turning point for him, he wanted to be able to read to his child, but to do so, he had to learn how to read.

He took his journey of learning to read as an adult to TikTok where he was welcomed into a community of book lovers ready to recommend books for him to read , watch him read on lives, send him resources, and follow his journey. The rest is history.

He has been interviewed on Good Morning America and Rachel Ray. He is continuing his journey to literacy and offering his services as a motivational speaker.

Connect with C. S. Phoenix:

Instagram - @C.S.Phoenix

Facebook - @C.S.Phoenix

Website -

Connect with Oliver James:

TikTok - @OliverSpeaks1

Instagram - @OliverSpeaks1

Twitter - @OliverSpeaks1

YouTube - @OliverSpeaks1

Website - (Coming Soon)

More About Common Humanity

This is a place for authenticity, humanity, and community.

At the Common Humanity Podcast we believe that we can learn through conversation and that everyone has their own expertise. This expertise comes through our lived experience and it is communal. What you are going through, someone else has been through and the stories we share are here to assure you, you are not alone.

Are you willing to share your story?


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