This generous hairdresser gives you 30% discounts for reading books in his salon.

A hairdresser named Pon Mariappan in Thoothukudi wants more people to spend time accumulating knowledge to do great works instead of wasting their time endlessly scrolling through their phone screens.

So he devised a plan for customers who are waiting for their turn to read books by offering them with 30% discounts, but with two conditions:

- When they enter the salon, they shouldn't use mobile phones. If they want to, they have to step out.

- After they have read a book, they must write a gist about it.

Do you think he had this thought just to increase sales or get appreciation from others?

Definitely a big NO!

But what makes him devise a plan?

For Pon Mariappan, being a well-educated person is of prime importance to him, but due to his financial situation, he had to forgo his aspirations and discontinue his education after Class 8. Whenever he meets an educated person, there is always guilt in him that he hasn't studied and worked like them in a corporate office. 

After working as a loader for 18 years, he saved some money and set up a salon. So when he started a salon, he constantly looked for ideas to integrate his passion for education with a job. 

One day when he replaced the TV in his salon with biographies of Periyar, Annadurai, Kalam, Abraham Lincoln, and Karl Marx, he noticed that customers who were waiting started to pick up the books and flip through some pages. Some even started to read them. That's enough to motivate and inspire him to take action.

That's how this idea was born.

He began collecting books from stores and second-hand bookstores, and at the end of the month, he would buy some books with his savings.

Now, his shop has over 900 books, ranging from autobiographies to fiction, in both Tamil and English. For people who don't read books, he also has audiobooks so they can learn something new while waiting in the salon shop.

To appreciate his efforts, the district library in Thoothukudi (Tamil Nadu, India) donated 50 books to his salon, and he also received English books for the first time from the publishing house Hachette India.

He said, "Whenever you enter the salon, every nook and cranny is surrounded by books. I always want people to spend time learning while waiting for their turn instead of staring at their phones or engaging in pointless small talk, which is often rubbish."

He also plans to lend books to students so they can read outside the confines of his salon and to introduce open mic reading for children so that they may overcome stage fear. If it is a great success, he may expand by lending books to the general public.

To make this story even more special, when the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, learned about his story, he invited him to appear on "Mann Ki Baat" (a monthly radio program hosted by PM Modi). When he was invited to the District Doordarshan office, he thought they might donate some books or appreciate him for his books. But when they said he was going to speak with PM Modi, he was astonished. During the show, Modi interviewed him in his mother tongue Tamil and asked him about what inspired him to create a mini-library inside a salon. He felt ecstatic when he shared his views with the national audience.

Congratulations to Pon Mariappan for his commendable effort in helping people become a better version of themselves by reading books.

Here’s the Quotes from legends about reading books:

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island.” ― Walt Disney

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” ― Cicero

“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.” ― John Locke

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” ― Stephen King

“A book is a gift you can open again and again.” ― Garrison Keillor

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”― Ernest Hemingway