The third biennial Cần Thơ Book Expo in 2019 attracted 400,000 visitors and earned VNĐ12 billion (US$513,000). It featured over 2 million copies of 200,000 titles in all fields. — Photo from baocantho.com.vn
CẦN THƠ — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta city of Cần Thơ’s People’s Committee has developed a project to promote a reading culture in the community.
Đào Thị Thanh Thúy, deputy director of the city Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said Cần Thơ would emphasise the role of local public libraries in promoting the reading habit.
The city aims to have at least 25-30 per cent of people in rural areas to have access to public libraries and learning centers by 2025. They also target the average number of books each person reads in a year to be 12 by 2030, and four in rural areas.
The city plans to apply technologies to libraries. It will build an e-library to help people easily access information and provide an open source to serve schools, experts and researchers.
Local libraries will expand their working hours and will be open on the weekends to serve the community.
Thúy said Cần Thơ was focusing on creating a reading habit among students at schools, which will be in charge of creating an environment for reading and organising frequent book discussions among students.
The city is also focusing on writing, publishing and selling books, as well as book reviews. It will support writers who write quality books and print their works.
Publishing houses have been asked to offer training courses to their staff and conduct more market research to understand readers’ tastes.
The city has encouraged critics to present book reviews to educate and influence readers’ tastes.
In addition, Cần Thơ will promote cooperation in publishing and libraries with countries that have a developed reading culture, and bring home quality titles on the humanities and arts.
The city is calling for support from sponsors in the country and abroad to organise books fairs to offer books at affordable prices.
Last year, the third biennial Cần Thơ Book Expo with the theme Sách – Tri Thức, Phát Triển, Hội Nhập (Books: Knowledge, Development, Integration) attracted 400,000 visitors and earned VNĐ12 billion (US$513,000).
The expo displayed over 2 million copies of 200,000 titles in all fields, including hundreds of new titles from 100 international and Vietnamese publishers and distributors.
According to Nguyễn Thành Kiên, chairman of the Cần Thơ City Union of Literature and Arts Association, many people in Việt Nam in general and the Cửu Long Delta region in particular have not formed the habit of buying and reading books.
Students often prefer comic books and romantic novels to books on arts, history and culture. — VNS