A reading station has become a new mecca for local bookworms since it was opened by a riverbank in Vietnam this year.
On the weekend, many readers of all ages come to the reading station, located along the iconic Huong (Perfume) River in Hue City, for reading all kinds of books for free while indulging in the relaxing atmosphere.
Readers are allowed to freely choose from any books in the Free Reading Station in a park opposite Hai Ba Trung High School.
The reading station was launched in May by Hueseed, a club whose members are working at the Hue Institute for Development Studies in the central part of the country.
Phan Dang Nhat Huy, a student from the Hue University of Sciences, has become a regular visitor to the reading station since it was opened.
He comes here every weekend and finds it fantastic to read books beside the people who share his love of books and reading while cherishing the fresh air from the beautiful surrounding nature.
"This reading space introduces many interesting books to us and inspires us to read more,” Huy told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Phan Thi Linh, a senior at the Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy, is one of the members of the reading station project.
As a person who has been fond of reading ever since she was a child, Linh finds it saddening that books nowadays are not loved by as many people.
Driven by a desire to promote reading among the people living in Hue City, Linh and other members decided to open the reading station project.
Not everything was smooth sailing for the group. According to Linh, in the beginning, they encountered many difficulties, from finding a location to sourcing the books.
"The biggest challenge for us was the lack of variety regarding the number of book titles and genres available for readers to choose from,” Linh said.
“Fortunately, after the reading station went into operation, we received many donations of books from both individuals and organizations, which helped the project operate properly."
The project's members now aim to create a useful, enticing space to read for the local community, and later to turn it into a networking venue where people can connect and exchange books, said Le Nguyen Kieu Xuyen, a project co-founder.
Currently, Hueseed is trying to create more spaces for reading books across the city and urges the community to lend a helping hand to the cause.
The club plans to connect with publishing houses and cultural companies to hold book events or competitions relating to book reading or writing for readers across Thua Thien-Hue, whose capital is Hue City.
The project has received approval from the leaders of the Hue Institute for Development Studies, where most of the project members are working as contributors.
"Although Hueseed's Free Reading Station was only recently opened, it has drawn in good support and become an inspiration for book readers,” said Cung Trong Cuong, director of the institute.