Creative Baker Promoting Reading Culture

Creative Baker Promoting Reading Culture

A visionary baker from northern Iran is not only concerned with providing healthy and high quality bread to his customers, but seeks to promote reading culture.
Almost every resident in Lakanshahr township (five km north of Rasht, Gilan Province) has heard of Nasser Balbasi, the enterprising baker who restored and reopened a desolate bakery in the small residential area, Mehr News Agency reported.
The baker’s popularity is not due to his pleasant demeanor or the ever-ready smile on his face; neither is it because of his tasty baked goods. Balbasi is famous for his ingenuity and values his customers.
At the outset, the most eye-catching thing in the bakery is the small bookcase in the corner of the shop and various moral messages printed on paper on the wall.
“I read a lot, and whenever I come across an interesting sentence, I jot it down. All the messages on the wall are taken out of books I’ve read, and liked,” Balbasi says.
The small bookcase is a collection of books borrowed from the city library, as well as his own books. “I have benefited greatly from reading, so I encourage everyone around me to do the same.”

Since Balbasi first put the idea into practice, many have seized the opportunity to catch up on some reading and have even borrowed his books. A loyal customer told him once that he “never read before, but the fascinating idea motivated (him) to squeeze in some reading in my schedule.”
Having watched people getting bored waiting in line to get bread on a daily basis, the baker selected books on interesting subjects such as psychology, poetry, and medical tips to capture his customers’ attention. “It has been well received,” he says.
The 28-year-old Balbasi plans to expand his bookcase to increase the number from the 30 or 40 books currently on offer. He does not want his customers to stop reading because there is nothing new to read.
“I am thinking of doing some repairs and building an attractive bookcase in my store someday, and it is my biggest dream for every bakery in town to own a similar bookcase.”

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