Starting with a passion for collecting old books after he settled in Belgium, Mr Du Thanh Khiem studied bookbinding for 12 years at an academy in Brussels. He has continued his studies since and become a master of the art.

Bookbinding involves beautifying and preserving the value of books and began in Egypt. Hundred-year-old bibles bound in Coptic sewing have remained undamaged over the years, and this style of binding is taught at bookbinding schools in Europe.

Mr Khiem said the art of bookbinding seems to have disappeared in Vietnam. He expressed a hope that young Vietnamese would learn the art and work to preserve the nation’s precious book heritage.

The art of preserving books reflects the cultural level of a community. It is therefore necessary to pay more attention to the art of bookbinding./.