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It’s showtime for Ho Chi Minh City Book Street

Sunday, January 10, 2016, 12:30 GMT+7
It’s showtime for Ho Chi Minh City Book Street
Leaders carry out opening formalities at the Ho Chi Minh City Book Street.

A long-awaited book street has just opened in downtown Ho Chi Minh City amid cheers from book lovers.

The street, located on Nguyen Van Binh Street in District 1, has welcomed visitors since Saturday afternoon to the delight of avid readers and publishers.

Though the street is not very long, it is lined with old trees providing lush foliage.

Several city leaders – including Vo Van Thuong, standing deputy secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee; the city’s new chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong; and Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, chairwoman of the municipal People's Council – attended the inauguration ceremony yesterday.

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Children are seen performing at the January 9, 2016 opening ceremony of the Ho Chi Minh City Book Street. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The Ho Chi Minh City Book Sstreet boasts 20 richly-decorated stalls.

Prior to the official opening, some of the shops began offering services on Saturday morning.

The book street also features a ‘flea market’ displaying a wide range of prized publications with timeless appeal which were released before 1945 and 1975, two of the country’s momentous historical milestones.

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Readers peruse books following the opening ceremony. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Late President Ho Chi Minh read the Proclamation of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on September 2, 1945 while Vietnam was officially reunified on April 30, 1975.

A book café, situated next to the Saigon Central Post Office, one of Ho Chi Minh City's icons, is a perfect place for visitors to skim their newly-bought books and sip their coffee while delighting in the beauty of the heart of the southern metropolis.

Dr. Quach Thu Nguyet, one of the initiators of the book street, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the opening of the street is meant to encourage and cherish a reading culture, particularly among youths and kids, through various activities and accentuate books’ value and their significance in social life.

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City leaders tour the Book Street’s stalls. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Following the opening ceremony, Nha Nam Co., a noted book publisher and distributor, kick-started an exhibition themed “Tho Ca Khang Chien” (Verse During Resistance War), which highlights wartime archival materials and publications.

A clutch of exchanges between authors and their readers are also slated to take place at the book street in the time to come.

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