HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam's first Book Day will be organised throughout the country on April 21.
The Book Day, which has just been approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, aims to encourage reading among the people and increase awareness about the importance and significance of reading books in order to improve their knowledge and skills.
The Ministry of Information and Communications will coordinate with localities, relevant sectors and agencies to organise the day throughout the country effectively, said Chu Van Hoa, director of the ministry's Publishing Department.
In Ha Noi, the activities on April 21 will include a book exhibition, an exchange between writers and readers, a book fair, Hoa said.
A Book Street and Book Week will be organised in the central cities and provinces, where seminars on books, exchanges between writers and readers and a book auction will be held, the organisers said.
On this occasion, people can buy good books at affordable prices, said Nguyen An Tiem, deputy head of the Central Publicity and Education Commission's Press and Publishing Department.
According to statistics from the Publishing and Printing Department, a Vietnamese read only 3.2 books, including text books, on average last year.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism's figures show that the average Vietnamese reads only 0.8 book per year in library.
These figures show that the demand for books by the Vietnamese people was still too low, the ministry said.
It pointed out that one factor behind this problem was the insufficient concern for the need to popularise books and the habit of reading.
There is no comprehensive coordination between the relevant agencies to build a national strategy on reading culture and book reviews to help readers understand how to read good and interesting books.
The Prime Minister's decision also said that the concerns of book publishers have not received due attention, while the book quality and prices do not meet the readers' demand and income.
The community library network does not meet the readers' needs too.
Meanwhile, Ha Noi and HCM City have been holding annual book festivals on a small scale since 2006. — VNS