|Children enjoy reading books at a book fair at Van Mieu (Temple of Literature) in Ha Noi as part of the first Viet Nam Book Day. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tung
HA NOI (VNS)— A ceremony to announce the Prime Minister's decision establishing Viet Nam Book Day was held on Saturday night at the Ly Thai To Square in Ha Noi.
Authorised by PM Nguyen Tan Dung, deputy minister of Communications and Information Truong Minh Tuan announced the decision, stating that April 21 every year will be marked as Viet Nam Book Day.
The decision also states that the annual event seeks to encourage and promote reading habits in the community and to raise public awareness about the reading's significance in accumulating knowledge, as well as in the formation and shaping of the human personality.
In addition, the day also aims to highlight the important role and position of books in the country's cultural life, as well as to honour people involving in all stages of book publication, from writing, printing, publishing, distribution, and libraries.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of the Communications and Information Nguyen Bac Son reaffirmed that Book Day is an outstanding cultural event for book lovers and for the entire nation.
"The annual organising of Book Day will boost the reading culture, thus forming a learning society in the country.
"Despite society's continuous development, leading people to have abundant reading choices on e-libraries or the internet, printed books still have an irreplaceable role, which has remained for over thousands of years.
Until today, books still are a valuable spiritual source," he said.
Explaining the reason why April 21 has been chosen as Book Day, the minister said the day has a great significance as 87 years ago in April the book Duong Cach Menh (Revolutionary Road) by Nguyen Ai Quoc (President Ho Chi Minh) was released, encouraging the entire nation to stand up to fight for independence.
Son added that Viet Nam Book Day also reflects the country's international integration into World Book and Copyright Day, which is held two days later on April 23 every year.
Following a launching ceremony for Book Day at the Van Mieu (Temple of Literature) yesterday, other activities, such as book presenting, discussions on reading habits, and children's story telling, were also held.
At the National Library, a book fair entitled, From the Past to Nowadays, has opened to the public until Saturday, April 26. Among the highlight of the fair is the display of a bronze book featuring the writings of Emperor Minh Mang (1791-1841) of the Nguyen dynasty. The book has been borrowed from a library in Germany.
The ongoing fair will also host talks with famous writer Nguyen Nhat Anh and historical researchers Duong Trung Quoc and Le Van Lan.
At the Centre for East-West Cultures and Languages, 62 Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, the ongoing display, Hanh Trinh Cua Sach Quoc Ngu Viet Nam (The Journey of the Romanised Vietnamese Books), showcasing some 200 rare books printed between 1870 and 1975, will remain open until Saturday.
All the books were borrowed from private collections of members of the book forum sachxua.net.
HCM City Reading Day
Thousands of young people in HCM City took part in a "Reading Day" that began at the Youth Cultural House on Saturday.
The five-day event is organised by the Departments of Information and Communications and Culture, Sports and Tourism along with the HCM City Youth Union to mark Viet Nam Book Day.
Le Thai Hy, director of the Department of Information and Communications, said the festival is aimed at encouraging and promoting the habit of reading among people.
Fourteen major publishers and distributors, including Tre (Youth) Publishing House, Tong Hop Publishing House, and the HCM City Book Distribution Company (FAHASA), are exhibiting their latest and best-selling books for visitors to read for free.
They also offer discounts of up to 20 per cent for people buying them.
Nguyen Cam Tu, a student at Open University, said: "I love reading. But as a student I cannot afford to buy too many books, so the event is a chance for me to enjoy reading. I can find all kinds of books from reference to literature."
There will be seminars on developing the reading habit among children and youths.
Scholars and educators like writer Do Hong Ngoc, Nguyen Tan Thanh Truc of Smart Libraries project, and Le Truong Tung, headmaster of FPT University, spoke at the event.
There is an exhibition of books related to Hoang Sa and Truong Sa and the victory over the French at Dien Bien Phu in 1954.
The City's Youth Union is doing a year-long survey to discover the 100 books liked the most by young people and children.
Lam Dinh Thang, deputy secretary of the union, said the survey aims to identify the books that had the greatest impact on the lives of young people and children and promote a reading culture among them.
The survey will end on December 31.
According to Hy, the Reading Day is the city's third big event this year to promote reading after the Book Street Festival during the Lunar New Year in January and the Book Fair last month.
The Youth Culture House is at 4 Pham Ngoc Thach Street in District 1. — VNS