|Bookworm's dream: Local residents and tourists visit HCM City's pedestrian-only book street, which opened on Nguyen Van Binh in District 1 on Saturday. — File Photo
HCM CITY (VNS) — The HCM City Book Street has opened at Nguyen Van Binh Street in District 1, offering a series of activities promoting reading culture for local people and foreign visitors.
The 144m section includes 20 stalls managed by the country's leading publishers, distributors and organisations, such as the HCM City General Publishing House, Tre Publishing House, Nha Nam, First News and the HCM City General Science Library.
The stalls showcase books and magazine from domestic and foreign publishers, and audio and visual products.
Rare and old books and magazines are also on display.
Two coffee shops with books and a kid's zone offer readers and children a place to relax and enjoy their favourite books.
The street also provides talk shows between readers and authors, discussions on reading habits and skills, as well as music performances every weekend.
On the opening day, the organisers launched an exhibition showcasing books and magazines published during the revolutionary period. It will close on Sunday.
An exhibition displaying newspapers and magazines for the spring festival will be organised by the HCM City General Science Library and the city's Press Association from January 18-30.
The Nha Nam Publishing House is holding an old book fair selling valuable rare books in both Vietnamese and English.
The Phuong Nam Corporation is hosting several talk shows, attracting famous speakers like writer Phan Y Yen and Nha Thuy, director and author Le Hoang, doctor Do Hong Ngoc, and journalist Pham Cong Luan.
They have shared their experiences and views about books and life.
Nguyen Thi Thu, vice chairwoman of the city People's Committee, spoke at the opening ceremony: "The HCM City Book Street is a place for readers and authors to meet and exchange. It also promotes the reading habit and encourages cultural agencies and organisations to focus on developing the habit among youth."
Le Thai Hy, director of the city's Department of Information and Communications and the street's head of management board, said the city would organise three other events to promote reading culture.
They include the Spring Book Fair during the Tet (Lunar New Yar) holiday in mid-February, the biannual HCM City Book Fair in March and the Viet Nam Book Day in April.
The book street, managed by the department and the HCM City Agency of Viet Nam Publishers Association, cost VND9.4 billion (US$427,000). — VNS