A beautiful story in the New York Times, that reads like the opening of ?a gorgeous Indian novel:
On the banks of picturesque Dal Lake in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, sits the only library in the neighborhood, run by a man who loves books but cannot read.
In a single-story wooden house, carefully maintained shelves are filled with around 600 books in several languages, the prize possessions of Muhammad Latif Oata, a 44-year-old handicrafts seller who dropped out of school at age 10 to work.
Over two decades, Mr. Latif, a Kashmir native, has accumulated all these books through exchanges and donations from people who visited his shop, first in Goa, then in Karnataka and now here in Dal Lake, a popular tourist destination. His collection includes books written by authors from many countries, like the United States, Britain, Sweden, Italy and Korea, reflecting the donors? nationalities.
Since the vast majority of those who visit the library are tourists, he has named it the Travelers Library. Anyone can take a book; all Mr. Latif asks is that borrowers describe the stories contained in the pages of the books they return. Many visitors, who are Indians from other states and foreigners?who come to see Dal Lake, leave behind their own books to add to his collection.