Books are really good and make people feel better. ‹ Literary Center
Working alongside the publishing industry – like we do here at Lit Hub dot com – can sometimes leave you a bit cynical about all the “transcendent power of literature”, so it’s nice to meet topical articles such as the following.
A veteran of the brutal Syrian civil war has set up a book kiosk in the coastal town of Tartous, offering a selection of over 2,000 titles available for anyone who wants to take a moment to read; and if you read 15 pages, you get a free coffee! Mohamed Zaher says it takes about $200 a month to run the kiosk and relies on donations from wealthy residents.
Syria’s economy, unsurprisingly, is not doing well these days: with some 90% of citizens living below the poverty line, books have become a luxury in everyday life, which is why Zaher , aka the Wisdom Seller, has become a popular regular stop for so many locals. As Ghada Aizouqi, 45, said Positive news:
There is a pleasure and a more personal feel to holding a book in your hands. This was made difficult by soaring book prices in recent years, and I opted for digital copies. But ever since Wisdom Seller started it has become a habit for me to come here every other day and read for no less than an hour.
Yes. Books. They make people’s lives better!