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Old books encourage reading habit

by VOV513 September 2015 Last updated at 18:35 PM

VTV.vn - The third annual old book festival has been held in Hanoi drawing number of readers and book collectors from across Vietnam. 12 publishing houses participated.

Le Van Hop, owner of the Ha Thanh Old Bookstore said those who came to the festival were students, researchers and book collectors.

“Old book festivals often attract more visitors than ordinary book fairs. 80% of the visitors are young people, who buy quite a lot. I see that young people are interested in old foreign books, which were translated into Vietnamese a long time ago. They are not fond of books translated by young translators, who lack both general knowledge and life experience,” Hop said.

Most of the books were printed between 1940 and 1990. Many of the books are shabby, some have lost their covers, but they still appeal to certain readers. Much sought after were “Les Miserables” published by the Literature Publishing House,“Severe Childhood” by Phung Quan, the “Organizational structure of ancient Vietnamese villages” by Tu Chi, and books published during Vietnam’s subsidy period.

Ha Minh Chien, owner of the Chien Old Bookstore said “Some classic books have been edited for reprinting so their original value is gone. That’s why people want old books, which were more carefully edited or translated.”

Reading the old books, especially those published during Vietnam’s subsidy period, readers see the efforts of the publishers and designers reflected on every page.

Nguyen Dat Tung, a student at the Vietnam Fine Arts University, said “I love fine art books of painters and literary books of Russia and France. It’s not easy to find these books. They are not reprinted anymore and are not available on the internet. I don’t like reading on the internet. I prefer reading real books”

People in Hanoi began buying and selling old books long ago. At the old book festival, book lovers have a chance to buy old books and share their love for old books with others. The festival encourages young readers to read more books.

Phan Van Anh who works at the Architecture Research Institute in Hanoi said she likes old architecture and history books.

“I also love books on cultural and social issues. There is a wide range of book publishers. Each of them has its own strength. Old books inspire book lovers not only because of their content but also because they are associated with their memories. Some of them are rare, no longer reprinted and have historical value,” he said.

The old book festival inspires a love of books, widens readers’ knowledge and promotes a reading culture amidst the increasing intrusions of non-print media.

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