Research into the memory deficit of retarded readers is examined within a working memory framework. Although much of the evidence in this area is confusing, there is fairly consistent evidence that reading retardation can be associated with a deficit in long-term storage of phonological information. This deficit may affect retarded readers' ability to utilize the articulatory loop, a short-term store which appears to play an important role in certain aspects of normal reading acquisition. On the other hand, there is fairly consistent evidence that retarded readers perform normally at storing non-verbal information and the semantic aspects of verbal information in long-term memory. Problems with current research strategies are discussed and suggestions for future research directions are made.