Istanbul simit seller exchanges books with customers

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With a bookshelf installed right next to his simit (Turkish bagel encrusted with sesame seeds) counter, Sait Okuducu has been sharing his passion for books with his customers who come to grab a bite and enjoy reading side by side.

Okuducu, who is from the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri, started running a simit counter two and a half years ago on Bağdat Street, one of the busiest avenues of the metropolis with 16 million population.

Installing a bookcase with 150 books on one of the sides of his counter, Okuducu started to share his passion for reading with people who come to buy simit, a famous bread eaten typically during brunch hours.

Noting that nearly 60-70 books have been exchanged over his counter in the last two months, the simit seller said that he was also an instructor in a driving school.

“I suggest books to those who come to chat, as I read mostly self-help books,” he noted.

He also recommended a list of books such as “The Gods Always Travel Incognito,” “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” and “Machiavelli: On Politics and Power.”

Emphasizing that a work such as “İnce Memed” from Yaşar Kemal has many followers, Okuducu said that sharing symbolic books from Turkish and world literature has increased.

Okuducu also said that he succeeded in entering Istanbul University’s Faculty of Veterinary for the university education he sought.

Hurriyet Daily News

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