The paper presents the results of a qualitative study in the lives of people with inadequate functional literacy skills. The data were collected through a biographical interview with a respondent whose characteristics correspond to those of a hypothetical person likely to exhibit signs of low functional literacy. The characteristics, such as gender, age, parental education achievements and job history, of this hypothetical person have been derived from the results of research into adult functional literacy undertaken in the Czech Republic in 1998-International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS). The analysis of the qualitative data focuses on three domains of the respondent's life, namely the family life, school years, and the life style. The paper identifies the coping strategies used by the respondent in everyday life.