A grocery store in Istanbul's Üsküdar district on the Anatolian side has a free shopping option for child customers who take a book from the store's library.
To gain appreciation for reading books and help families unable to afford books for their children, the store run by Kanber Bozan and his son, Fırat Bozan, gives free products to children who read one of the books and give them a short summary afterwards. The Bozan family's practice has already attracted many on social media as locals around Turkey are donating books to the store's library.
Willing to cooperate with nearby schools to expand his book project, Bozan said, "Since August, I have been offering free shopping to children and the families are quite happy about it. It is easy to make children happy but we encourage them to read more and I am quite interested to work with schools." Bozan's son, Fırat, is the mastermind behind this idea as he was giving free confectioneries to poor children residing in the neighborhood by asking them to help at the store. Later he came up with the book project. "I did not realize how this was spread by word of mouth. One day, a child came and asked me to listen to the story of Christopher Columbus. Many children now come over to take books," he continued. The father and son have received books from remote cities like Gaziantep.
A child resident, Yiğit Karbuz, said, "My friends come here to take books. I have read books like the ‘Little Prince.' Then I take chocolate or sweets. They help us to read more books. I like it."
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