The path for book lovers wandering around the city looking for used bookstores in their curiosity for the past now have a workplace with walls decorated with books in Antalya.
When the books he started to collect while in high school no longer fit in his house, book enthusiast İlhami Dilek turned his workplace into a bookstore, which has now become a popular spot for book lovers in Antalya.
Readers fall under the spell of countless books in the makeshift library, encountering a separate world in each section. The owner of the used bookstore, which includes hundreds of books ranging from history to psychology and from art to sociology, is a bibliomaniac.
Dilek, whose passion for books started young, continued buying new books even if he was unable to read them all. Dilek later decided to open a second-hand bookstore when he could not find a place for his books at home.
Dilek told Anadolu Agency that he considers his books his children. Noting that his bookstore, which has about 1 million books, has been visited by a large number of readers, Dilek said: "I could not leave the library while in high school. I enjoyed reading books. My devotion to books in the past led me to open a bookstore now."
Stressing that his love for books is a "mania," Dilek said: "People like me collect books and are very knowledgeable about books. We collect books, but do not read them. Rather, we do not have time to read. We love them like our own children, care for them and protect them. If necessary, we fight at home with our spouses," adding that when it comes to books, we must make a choice between books and spouses. "We call it 'bibliomania.' I created a collection of manuscripts and Ottoman books for myself. I have about 100-120 manuscript books in my collection of 6,000-7,000 books. Among the handwritten books are madrasa books, cönks (an anthology of poems), Arabic, Farsi, Ottoman books with religious content, mystical works, esoteric books and divans."
Pointing out that books published by the Egyptian Bulak Printing House, which was established by Kavalalı Mehmet Ali Pasha by the Sublime Porte and printed in Istanbul, are also in his collection, Dilek emphasized that these works are very rare.
Dilek also noted that he has original printings of Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" and Hitler's "Mein Kampf," indicating that he knows the names of almost all the books published before and after the Republic until the 1980s. Dilek added that he does not accept pirated publications in his bookstore.