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Turkey: 79-year-old bookworm setting example for youth

Haci Ahmet Gonen, a 79-year-old living in Turkey’s Kahramanmaras province [Anadolu Agency]
Haci Ahmet Gonen, a 79-year-old living in Turkey’s Kahramanmaras province [Anadolu Agency]

Haci Ahmet Gonen, a 79-year-old living in Turkey's Kahramanmaras province, is setting an example for young people with his book reading habits, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Gonen learned to read and write at the age of 21, thanks to courses he attended following his military service, and reading books has been his favourite activity ever since.

He became a member of the Kahramanmaras Metropolitan Municipality Public Library in order to improve his reading.

The father of eight children and grandfather of 15 grandchildren, Gonen has read around 500 books in the past three years, and people around him call him the "bookworm."

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Becoming emotional, and even bursting into tears when reading sad parts of books, he fully devotes his attention to the books and embraces them, according to Gonen, who said his children would sometimes warn him that his eyes could become damaged from reading too much.

Ayse Sofioglu, Metropolitan Municipality Libraries Branch Manager in Kahramanmaras, said Gonen is one of a kind, and he is setting a very good example for young generations who are, apparently, less interested in reading books.

"He comes to the library and talks to our young people, telling them the importance of literacy," she said.

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