NEWPORT BEACH — Give him a blueprint, and he says he can read it lickety split.
Give him a book, however, and that's a different story.
But Claude Bonham, 56, is trying.
The Costa Mesa resident was singled out and honored Thursday by the Newport Beach Library Literacy Program, which during the past three years has brought Bonham up to a second-grade reading level.
The program, with its army of tutors and career teachers, has also taught him how to carry out the financial practicalities of life — balancing a checkbook, using a debit card at the grocery store and withdrawing cash from an ATM.
He can even log onto a computer and check his e-mail.
It's the sort of stuff that many take granted, but it's completely different to those who live in a world where words appear as garbled ink on a page and numbers sometimes are just as confusing.