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VietNamNews

Book cafes spring up in Viet Nam

Update: May, 11/2014 - 12:00

Reading is a way to have fun and be entertained without spending lots of money.

It is becoming popular among some people in Viet Nam to visit cafes where they can enjoy a cup of coffee, and read books.

Some of these cafes have many, many books.

Reading comfort: Most book coffee shops have plenty of works from both Viet Nam and foreign countries.
Reading comfort: Most book coffee shops have plenty of works from both Viet Nam and foreign countries. - Photo didau.org

HA NOI (VNS) — Book coffee shops are cropping up in major cities, attracting young people whose generation has increasingly turned its back on reading.

"We are fed up with entertainment places like clubs and bars. It is unreasonable to waste time, money and health in these places," said Thanh Huyen, a student from HCM City college of technology. "It is more interesting to sip some coffee or tea while sticking my head in a book. I have learnt more that way."

These libraries of sorts are particularly useful for students, who are typically on a limited budget.

"We cannot buy books for both studying and entertainment purposes with our limited monthly accommodation fee," said student Pham Van Duyen, a technology student from another university in HCM City.

Of course, people have frequented libraries and bookstores for many years, but these new cafes also aim to create a reading culture.

"Book coffee shops are good places for young people to satisfy their habit of drinking coffee and also read books," said Duyen.

Most book coffee shops have plenty of literary works from both Viet Nam and foreign countries. In HCM City, there are several elegantly designed cafes decorated with plants and colourful paint, creating a comfortable and quiet place to read.

Hub Book Coffee Shop on Cong Hoa Road, Tan Binh District, has over 1,000 books including novels as well as books on science and religion. Readers can linger over their books as long as they want.

"I opened the Hub to create a community of bookworms and provide a useful resource for students studying and researching," the owner said.

Ha Noi readers can visit Moc Mien at 19 Ho Tay Road, opened by Hoang Anh Tho in 2012 in order to share her passion for books with other book lovers.

"I want to promote reading among young people, especially literary books," said Tho. "Nowadays, those who are 20-30 don't have the habit of reading every day."

Shop visitors can peruse her 6,000 books while sipping a cup of coffee or mocktail. However, Tho thinks that young Hanoians read less than readers in HCM City.

"Seriously, I think young Hanoians are too lazy to read," Tho said. "Most young people come to the book coffee shop because it is trendy."

A couple at Book Coffee in 32/30 Ta Quang Buu Street, Ha Noi agreed with Tho. A second-year student at the Military Medical Academy, Tran Quang Ha said he and his friends often came to Book Coffee for group studying before examinations.

"The book coffee shop is very good for people who have a short break time to read books. But I just go to the Book Coffee with my friends to revise for exams because I have no time," Ha said.

Le Ha Thanh, who opened Book Coffee in 2010, said that while he originally aimed to promote reading among the youth, the cafe was mainly used for studying.

"It's much better that students come for studying than for chatting or football playing," said the shop owner. "Most young readers like comic or entertainment books. I try to guide them to literary works." — VNS

GLOSSARY

Book coffee shops are cropping up in major cities, attracting young people whose generation has increasingly turned its back on reading.

If book coffee shops crop up, they appear all over the place and often by surprise.

You, your brothers and sisters are one generation; your parents are another and your grandparents are yet another. Your children will also be a generation of their own.

To turn your back on something means to deliberately not take part in it.

These libraries of sorts are particularly useful for students, who are typically on a limited budget.

If you have a limited budget you do not have much money to spend on something.

Of course, people have frequented libraries and bookstores for many years, but these new cafes also aim to create a reading culture.

If there is a reading culture, then everybody in a community reads and values reading and it is a very ordinary thing to do.

Most book coffee shops have plenty of literary works from both Viet Nam and foreign countries.

Literary works are documents that are written and can be read, usually books.

Hub Book Coffee Shop on Cong Hoa Road, Tan Binh District, has over 1,000 books including novels as well as books on science and religion.

A novel is a book that tells a story that is not a true story but could seem like a true story.

"I opened the Hub to create a community of bookworms and provide a useful resource for students studying and researching," the owner said.

A bookworm is a nickname for someone who reads a lot.

A resource is something from which you can gain wealth, whether it is the wealth of money or the wealth of knowledge.

Ha Noi readers can visit Moc Mien at 19 Ho Tay Road, opened by Hoang Anh Tho in 2012 in order to share her passion for books with other book lovers.

If you have a passion for something, you just love it.

Shop visitors can peruse her 6,000 books while sipping a cup of coffee or mocktail. However, Tho thinks that young Hanoians read less than readers in HCM City.

To peruse means to read something carefully.

"Seriously, I think young Hanoians are too lazy to read," Tho said. "Most young people come to the book coffee shop because it is trendy."

Trendy means fashionable.

"The book coffee shop is very good for people who have a short break time to read books. But I just go to the Book Coffee with my friends to revise for exams because I have no time," Ha said.

To revise for exams means to study, or learn, for exams.

WORKSHEET

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

1.      Pham Van Duyen is a technology student from Ha Noi.

2.      Bookstore owner Hoang Anh Tho thinks that young Hanoians read less than readers in HCM City.

3.      Le Ha Thanh opened Book Coffee four years ago.

4.      Young people today read a lot more than past generations.

5.      Book cafes are useful to people who do not have very much money to spend.

 

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2014

























 1. False; 2. True; 3. True; 4. False; 5. True.

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