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Hanoi to Launch Book Street by End of the Year

Hanoian bookworms will be happy to hear that the capital expects to unveil a brand-new book street by the end of the year.

If things go according to plan, the street will be open and ready to cater to the city’s bibliophiles by December 19, reports Dan Tri. Local authorities are still in the process of deciding which street gets the honor. The list of potential locations includes Dinh Tien Hoang, Le Thai To, Hang Khay, Le Lai, Le Thach, Dinh Le, Nguyen Xi, Trang Tien (from Ngo Quyen to Dinh Tien Hoang) and Hang Trong (from the Opera House to Le Thai To).

According to the news source, funds for establishing the venue will come from the city budget, but prospective vendors will still have to pay a fee to rent a stall on the street. The content of the books on offer will be vetted by the Hanoi Department of Information and Communications.

Besides converting an entire street into a book fair, local officials are mulling placing mobile book carts around the city as well, provided that the design of the portable stalls must fit with the general aesthetics of Hoan Kiem Lake. Moreover, officials are also considering hanging bookshelves on public walls to aid the collection and donation of books, in addition to creating more space for readers by holding book events and talk shows.

It remains to be seen whether the venue will be a financial winner; however, if the success of Le Thach street’s temporary book fair – held last February – is any indication, the new book street is set to bring in some pretty sweet dough. The spring book event attracted tens of thousands of people, who bought a total of VND4 billion (US$178,800) worth of books in just three days.

The decision to establish the book venue in Hanoi follows the earlier success of Saigon’s own Nguyen Van Binh book street (pictured above), now a permanent fixture in the southern hub’s reading culture. Despite a decline in sales in recent months, Nguyen Van Binh Street has attracted 500,000 visitors and sold over 240,000 books, raking in about VND15 billion (US$675,000) in revenue.

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