“How do you ask for a book when you are eighteen and have been brought up in a household where the only book was the Quran and the only reading material an occasional old newspaper left behind by a visitor from the city. ‘I want that book,’ I told the librarian, pointing tentatively towards a cupboard which contained a thick volume of something call The Great Escapes. The librarian, relieved at having found a customer, took out his bunch of keys, removed a key and asked me to go get it myself. I took my time and browsed for a long time before filling out the form and borrowing the book. So grateful was I for getting that book that I brought him a samosa and a cup of tea the next day.”

— Mohammed Hanif, (‘A Case of Exploding Mangoes Reading Guide‘)