The Van Mieu-Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature-National Royal School) in Hanoi will host this year’s Book and Reading Culture Festival on April 20 to mark the World Book and Copyright Day.

The festival aims to promote reading and provide authors with an opportunity to introduce their work. It will also offer visitors free e-books and providing printed books to libraries and schools in rural areas.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Mai, head of the Library Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the festival is expected to draw large numbers of students and young people.

With the theme of Books Change Life, a large number of books covering a wide variety of fields from publishing houses across the country will be introduced to readers during the festival. Additionally, visitors will have an opportunity to participate in educational games and buy books at discounted prices.

Other activities will include poetry and short story recitals as well as an exhibition about writers who have won the prestigious Ho Chi Minh award.

On the occasion, educational activists and translators such as Bich Lan, who translated Nich Vujicic’s autobiography Life without Limits, will take part in a seminar on the role of books in society.

Ho Chi Minh City will also organise a “Reading Day” this weekend to promote reading, especially among young people.

The two-day event, to be held at the Labour-Culture Palace will feature 12 major publishers and distributors, who will provide their latest books for free for visitors to read.

There will be discussions on reading habits and skills, featuring speakers such as Pham Phuong Thao, former chairwoman of the municipal People’s Council, and Ton Nu Thi Ninh, president of the Tri Viet Institute for International Studies and Exchange.

An exhibition of books and newspapers published between 1945 and 1954 will include the first edition of writer Nam Cao’s Doi Mat (The Eyes) published by Van Nghe (Literature and Arts) Publishing House in 1954, and a special edition of Nhan Dan Mien Nam (People of South) newspaper on May 19, 1953, to celebrate President Ho Chi Minh’s birthday.

Le Thai Hy, director of the Department of Information and Communications, said the event would be the first in a series of activities to promote reading, along with the summer “reading month” event and a street book fair next spring.-VNA