Istanbul simit vendor trades books with customers


With a shelf installed right next to his simit (Turkish bagel encrusted with sesame seeds) counter, Sait Okuducu shares his passion for books with his customers who come for a bite to eat and like to read side by side.

Okuducu, originally 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 in the metropolis with 16 million inhabitants.

Setting up a 150-book library on one side of his counter, Okuducu has started to share his passion for reading with people who come to buy simit, a famous bread typically eaten during brunch hours.

Noting that nearly 60 to 70 pounds have been traded over his counter in the past two months, the simit seller said he is also an instructor at a driving school.

“I suggest books to those who come to chat, as I mostly read 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”.

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

Okuducu also said that he managed to enter Istanbul University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine for the university education he was looking for.


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