An online rendezvous for book lovers

December 11, 2016 - 09:00

Only nine months after was created, it has attracted a large number of fans. Many enthusiasts are attracted by articles which recommend good books to read and summarise the interesting books written by authors from all over the world.

Bookishly yours: is expected to become the leading website in Việt Nam to rate books, encourage and guide Vietnamese citizens to read interesting and meaningful books from among the thousands that are published every year. VNS Photo Bạch Liên
Viet Nam News

by Bạch Liên

If you glance through the website you will find a lot of articles that attract thousands of views and hundreds of “likes” from readers…

If you have time to read through each article on the website, you will find that it is carefully written and has rich content.

Only nine months after the website was created, it has attracted a large number of fans. It has had more than 100,000 fans on its Facebook fan page Trạm Đọc-Read Station. Many enthusiasts are attracted by articles which recommend good books to read and summarise the interesting books written by authors from all over the world.

Rendezvous of book-lovers

The website was created in March 2016 by a group of four young people who are passionate about books. Since then, it has become an open forum for book lovers throughout Việt Nam — a station where they can stop to meet and share their passion for reading. Trạm Đọc (in English: Read Station) is a project of the Việt Nam’s Intellectual Cooperation Centre (VICC).

Trạm Đọc was created to encourage more young people to read books in a smart way, said Hà Hải Quỳnh, the project’s co-ordinator.

“When you ask young people if they like reading books, they will say yes. But if you ask how many books they have read, many are embarrassed to give a number. Many do not often read books. We think the main reason is not only that young people are lazy about reading, but they are attracted to many other things such as television, smartphone, and the Internet,” she said.

“It is true that the Internet is a very attractive option, but for anyone who knows how to explore the value of books, they can find that books have an important place in the 21st century," she said.

“With our habit of reading books and the desire to promote knowledge, we are four members who have joined forces to build the website.”

The founding members are still very young, born in the early 1990s, and they are all passionate about reading. They were teachers and web creators. Some months ago, to prepare the creation of this website, they studied other websites in Việt Nam which reviews books. They found that most of those websites only focus on literature and novels. And non-fiction, including science, psychology, technology and society, are almost absent.

They then decide to create a website to review all kinds of books and often update news about the books.

Read and discuss: Members of Trạm Đọc talk with readers about the book “Sex at Dawn” by Christopher Ryan, a New York Times bestseller. This was the first offline show by the website and its readers. Photo courtesy o Trạm Đọc.

Treasure of knowledge

Over the last nine months, the website has published numerous articles with rich information and designed different columns: Review books, Listopia, Reading Style, and Book cafes.

In the column Review books, readers can find articles featuring impressions of authors about a book. For example, there are books on Canadian-American billionaire Elon Musk (creator of SpaceX). Besides old books, many reviews articles of newly published books can also be found here.

In Listopia, readers can find a list of books on the same subject. For example, “Ten most interesting books about creation” or “Seven books that Start-ups should read” or “Ten psychology books to read to make changes in life”

“In the current expansive book market, readers find it difficult to pin down their choices of books to read.  They often wonder “I do marketing, which books should I read? If I love philosophy, which books I should start reading? So we want to help them,” Quỳnh explained.

In the column Reading style, readers can find articles about one subject in daily life. For example, “How to face the loss of a loved one”. A book will be analysed here, explaining or discussing this question with readers. In books, readers can find sympathy that they can hardly find somewhere else.

In Books café, readers can find interviews of well-known and successful people working in different sectors in Việt Nam or all over the world. They talk about their reading habits, their favourite books and therefore, inspire young people to read books.

“Many people want to read books but do not know how to read. What should they read, how to read? And what to do after they read books? How to apply them into real life? These questions look simple but the answers are not easy,” said Đào Ngọc Minh, the project’s manager.

“The website is expected to become Việt Nam’s leading site to rate books, encourage and guide the Vietnamese to read interesting and meaningful books, among the thousands which are published every year,” he said.

Despite being recently created, Trạm Đọc has become an ideal rendezvous for booklovers.

“I am very busy with my work so I do not find much time to read books. Now, with Trạm Đọc, I have come to know of many interesting books and writers. I find quite a few good articles that compel me to buy books immediately. Now, I am more interested in reading books,” Mai Lan, an employee of an NGO in Hà Nội, said.   

Founders of Trạm Đọc said that there would be new columns on the website in 2017. More good books would be summarised, which could help busy people learn nearly 80 per cent of the details in the books in just 15 minutes.

The website would also publish some chapters from new books in Việt Nam and in the world.  

They would also set up a library of 1,000 most interesting books which were published in Việt Nam over the last ten years.

“After this Lunar New Year, we will try to work with publishing houses and readers to organise a Trạm Book awards, to honour the most-loved books (with ratings of readers) in 2016. Hopefully we can find enough time to do this important work well,” Quỳnh said. VNS