|Pages of profit: A view of the HCM City Tết Book Fair. — VNS Photo by Phương Mai
HCM CITY — Book streets and fairs held in cities and towns across Việt Nam during the seven-day Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday from February 14 to 20 earned a total income of VNĐ6.4 billion (US$282,000).
The HCM City Tết Book Fair, held from February 13 to 19, earned VNĐ3.2 billion ($141,000).
Held in District 1 on Nguyễn Huệ, Mạc Thị Bưởi and Ngô Đức Kế streets, the fair displayed more than 26,000 titles by 12 major publishers and distributors.
It also featured discussions between authors and readers.
Hoàng Mạnh Duy, who visited the fair before returning to his hometown of Bảo Lộc Town in Lâm Đồng Province for Tết, said: “This year’s modern arrangement made it easy for me to find my favourite books.”
Duy chose some books by Nguyễn Nhật Ánh as gifts for his teenage nephews and nieces.
Another book street in District 1, this one on Nguyễn Văn Bình Street, earned a revenue of VNĐ2 billion ($88,000).
The Vũng Tàu city book fair on Ba Cu Street earned VNĐ1 billion ($44,000).
There were 17 book stalls, two cafes, an amusement area and a stage for theatre and other art performances.
Several cultural activities, talk shows by famous authors and painting contests for children and teenagers also featured.
The Hà Nội Spring Book Fair earned revenues of VNĐ200 million ($8,800) within two days after opening on February 18.
Dương Anh Đức, director of the HCM City Department of Information and Communications, said: “The Tết Book Fair has become a familiar attraction in HCM City during Tết for the last seven years, attracting millions of people from the city and neighbouring provinces as well as foreign visitors each year.
“The event is a triumph in promoting the reading habit in the community and creating a great impression on international tourists visiting the city on this special occasion.”
When books become lucky money
This year saw many publishers and book distributors launch progammes encouraging people to offer books to each other as “lucky money.”
The HCM City-based AnBooks released a poetry book titled Con Nít Con Nôi (The Children) packaged in a beautiful red envelope as a Tết gift for children.
Thái Hà Books of Hà Nội published Happy Book – Hạnh Phúc Dài Lâu (Happy Book – Everlasting Happiness) with 93 quotes on happiness by famous people.
Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, general director of the company, said: “The book is part of Thái Hà Books’ project called Mừng Tết (Celebrating Lunar New Year), which sought to offering meaningful gifts readers can give each other for Tết.”
His company has received hundreds of orders from companies who want to gift books to their workers on special occasions, he said. — VNS