Kenan Şimşir, a 78-year-old bookbinding master who lives in Antalya province, enlivens books he repairs through meticulous work. Repairing pale book pages with a scalpel, needle and thread between the shelves of a second-hand bookseller's in Antalya, bookbinding master Şimşir works as meticulously as a surgeon. Devoting his life to books with patience, effort and love, Şimşir started in the craft by repairing his own books and those of his friends in primary school. Starting bookbinding to realize a childhood dream, Şimşir has been fixing torn books in a second-hand bookstore for 10 years.
Talking about his fondness for books for Anadolu Agency (AA,) Şimşir said that he has been living with books since he was 10.
Stating that he repairs old books and their bindings if needed, Şimşir said: "I spend most of my time with books. I work on torn books that have lost pages and become dysfunctional, and I make them usable."
Indicating that he learned to read and write on his own, Şimşir added: "I got used to this work by repairing my books and those of my friends. Then I started to work at the state press and retired. Upon retirement, I realized my dream of being a bookbinder. Here, I spend my time with books, which are my interest. I mend and enliven them working diligently like a surgeon." He also loves reading books and said that he has over 2,000 books in his library and from time to time he gives some of them to primary school and high school students as present.
Despite his age, Şimşir stressed that he will continue bookbinding for as long as he can. He binds torn books and works on their covers with metallic script, called "hurufat."
"Book repair was a dream for me, and I realized it when I could find the right time. I insist on doing this till the end of my life. Books are a world that has been written by people for more than 2,000 years. Even this is enough for getting excited about books," Şimşir said.