City’s Book Road sees thousands of visitors but recent sales on the decline
HCM City’s cultural authorities’ efforts to promote book reading as a lifelong habit have been successful, drawing a higher number of visitors to recent book exhibitions and fairs in the past six months.
Twenty book stalls along HCM City’s ‘Book Road’, Nguyễn Văn Bình Street, attained a total sales turnover of VNĐ15 billion (US$675,000) in the last six months. Five of those stalls attained sales of over VNĐ1 billion, and the remaining saw sales of VNĐ200 million to VNĐ500 million each, according to figures recently released by the city’s Department of Information and Communications.
Opening on January 9, the Book Road in District 1 has received some 500,000 visitors (about 2,500 on work days and 4,500 on weekends), and about 240,000 books have been sold here.
Not only a cultural venue, the Book Road has also been recognised as a tourist destination, showcasing cultural and political events in HCM City.
It has been recognised by publishers as a channel to learn about readers’ demand and tastes.
However, the Book Road has shown weaknesses in both organisation and activities. Its programmes are not diverse, nor are the kinds of books on display, said Lê Hoàng, deputy head of the Book Road Steering Board.
Sales at book stalls have been on the decline recently. “Some of them are on the brink of losses,” Hoàng said.
The Steering Board will soon take measures to stabilise the Book Road’s activities to help it cope with difficulties and operate more effectively for sustainable growth.
Viet Nam News - July, 16, 2016