Limited editions of three poetry books Tiếng Thu (Voice of Autumn) by Lư Trọng Lư, Điêu Tàn (Falling in Ruin) by Chế Lan Viên, and Mê Hồn Ca (Song of the Spirit) by Đinh Hùng. Photo courtesy of the publisher
HCM CITY Vietnamese publishing houses have recently introduced limited editions of Vietnamese books to honour the country’s leading authors and their works, as well as satisfy readers’ interest in book collecting.
The Nhã Nam Publishing and Communications Company has released limited editions of three poetry books: Tiếng Thu (Voice of Autumn) by Lư Trọng Lư, Điêu Tàn (Falling into Ruin) by Chế Lan Viên, and Mê Hồn Ca (Song of the Spirit) by Đinh Hùng.
They have included in the Việt Nam Danh Tác (Việt Nam’s Famous Works) collection of 49 books featuring novels, short stories and poems by renowned Vietnamese authors, published in 2014.
The limited-edition books include hardcover editions and are illustrated by famous artists Lê Thiết Cương and Trịnh Cung.
They are marked with the seal of Nhã Nam Thư Xã (Nhã Nam Literature House) designed for the collection and numbered 1-555.
The books priced from VNĐ170,000 - 200,000 (US$7.5-9) are available at Hạo Nhiên Books, 4 Trần Nhân Tôn Street, District 10 in HCM City or via https://www.facebook.com/haonhienbooks.
According to Nhã Nam, the company plans to reprint and update other famous books in an effort to honour Vietnamese authors and promote Vietnamese literature among readers.
Nguyễn Cẩm Anh of Đồng Nai Province said: “My father loves poems and likes to collect poetry books. I now can imagine his happy face when receiving those limited editions.”
Meanwhile, the Trẻ (Youth) Publishing House has surprised fans of best-selling author Nguyễn Nhật Ánh with a limited edition of his popular book Tôi Là Bêtô (I Am Bêtô).
The special version consists of 196 colour pages, Ánh’s signature and illustrations by Đỗ Hoàng Tường. It is marked from S1-S100.
Tôi Là Bêtô features stories about friendship, bravery and honesty of a dog named Bêtô and his friends. It was released in 2007, and more than 150,000 copies of the book have been sold in Việt Nam.
The book will be translated by Jeong Yekang from 59mins Publishing House and published in South Korea next year.
According to the Trẻ Publishing House, all sales of the 100 limited edition copies of Tôi Là Bêtô will be donated to children and orphans who have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in HCM City.
The book can be purchased at the publisher’s book store at 157 Lý Chính Thắng Street in District 3.
A limited-edition of Tôi Là Bêtô (I Am Bêtô) by best-selling author Nguyễn Nhật Ánh. — Photo courtesy of the publisher
Run for limited editions
Although the trend of publishing limited edition books began a long time ago, it became popular in Việt Nam in 2019 when the Đông A Publishing House sold, within only two minutes, all 100 copies of the Vietnamese version of Eger Stars by Hungarian author Géza Gárdonyi with handmade gilded covers.
The 626-page book was printed in colour and illustrated by Phạm Ngọc Minh Tân. It included the signatures of translator Lâm Xuân Giang and bookbinder Nguyễn Đức Khuynh.
Despite its price of VNĐ1 million ($44) per copy, many readers on the publisher’s Facebook page said they were sorry they had missed buying the book.
Since then, the country’s leading publishing houses like Kim Đồng, Trẻ, Thái Hà, Nhã Nam have joined together to produce special publications to satisfy readers’ interests.
Most of the publications are works by famous Vietnamese authors like Tô Hoài, Kim Lân and Nguyễn Nhật Ánh.
Vietnamese versions of famous foreign books like Grimms’ Fairy Tales and One Thousand and One Nights are featured as well.
Some of them have gilded covers, and the others have hardcovers with illustrations by famous Vietnamese painters.
All of them are marked with special symbols from the publishers and signatures of authors and bookbinders. They are printed in high-quality paper with colour, and are sold at prices ranging from VNĐ200,000 to 1 million.
Book lover Cẩm Anh of Đồng Nai said: "My father and I share the same hobby of book collecting, especially limited editions. Beautiful books make us feel at ease and satisfied.”
“Although the prices of limited edition books are quite expensive, they’re worth it,” she added. — VNS