HCM City promotes reading culture among community hinh anh 1A book event at Book Pedestrian Street in downtown HCM City. (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA)Ho Chi Minh City’s authorities are promoting reading culture in the community through a series of new programmes organised this year.

Tu Luong, Deputy Director of the city’s Department of Information and Communications, said that three city-based publishing houses would give books to cultural houses in the five outlying districts of Hoc Mon, Binh Chanh, Cu Chi, Nha Be and Can Gio at the end of this month.

Besides working with publishing companies, the department will also collaborate with the Department of Culture and Sports to send mobile libraries to rural areas and gift books to local needy children.

The department is submitting a proposal for the city's first awards for children’s books to the municipal People’s Committee. The event is expected to begin in September.

It is also making plans for the city’s annual Tet Book Street during the Lunar New Year festival and the 11th HCM City Book Expo in the first quarter of next year.

In addition, an international exhibition on the printing sector is expected to be held at the Tan Binh Exhibition and Convention Centre in Tan Binh district in September.

Speaking at a recent meeting on book publishing, distribution and printing, Luong said: "The city has called on departments to work with the Vietnam Publishers Association and local publishing houses to promote reading habits among people, particularly children.”

He noted that the publishing houses had achieved good results in the first half of the year.

Three local publishing houses, Tre (Youth), Van Hoa Van Nghe (Culture, Literary and Arts) and Tong Hop (General), released 1,328 new book titles with more than 3.5 million copies.

In the first six months of the year, the HCM City Book Pedestrian Street organised 11 photo, painting and book exhibitions, and 65 book introductions and meetings with authors.

It introduced 613 new titles and sold 251,792 copies in the first quarter of this year. Its revenue in the first quarter was 11.6 billion VND (500,000 USD).

City authorities and three publishing houses also took part in an international book fair in Saint Petersburg, Russia in May to introduce books on President Ho Chi Minh and Vietnamese islands, culture, tourism, literature and investment.

Despite achievements, the city is facing an increase in the number of fake books found on e-commerce platforms like Lazada, Shopee, Sendo and Tiki.

Le Hoang, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Publishers Association, said: “Fake books are not only sold on the pavement but are also available by the thousands on e-commerce platforms.”

Representatives from the city’s three publishing houses said they could not control or check all books sold on e-commerce platforms because hundreds of retail sellers operate on these platforms.

The department asked the publishing houses to submit their suggestions on ways to control the violations.

The department will work with the Police Department, the Market Management Department and interdisciplinary inspection teams to inspect violators and try to resolve the problems.-VNS/VNA