Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sad news for book-lovers

Curtain fell last week on Saeed Book Bank, Pakistan's one of largest booksellers in Peshawar. It was shifted to Islamabad where the book store already has a large outlet. Depleting number of costumers and increasing insecurity seem to be the main reasons behind shuttering the store that stood tall for decades on the vibrant Arbab Road in Peshawar Saddar.
Books have gone beyond the purchasing power of an average person in Pakistan, but sleek restaurants that dot every main road in Peshawar do a roaring business despite heightened insecurity and rampant poverty. It reflects badly on the culture of a society where people spend more on eateries, but refuse to pay for a book.
A city of three million, Peshawar has only one public library and almost no reading room. I don't know what is the marker of development and progress in a country like ours? Is it the number of libraries, universities and research centers or the number of cars on its roads or the number of cell phones people use?

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