The managing director of new bookstore ‘Le Story’, which opened in central Phnom Penh in June, has said the shop will have publications to meet the needs of both local and foreign customers, especially students.
Reth Chanbopha is one of the four founders of Le Story who said the main purpose of the bookstore is to create a hub for both readers and authors to meet and communicate.
“Le Story is designed not just to sell books, but also to be a place where writers and readers can sit and discuss the stories. We are also going to have weekly programmes where we will invite authors to share their knowledge and experience to the public. We will make announcement in advance via our social media channels to let people know how to get involved,” said Chanbopha.
Despite acknowledging the decline of local bookstores, the managing director is still optimistic about the business due to their innovative plans for the shop and the events within it.
“We also wanted to set up this bookstore to promote reading and writing in Cambodia,” she added.
With a convenient layout design and support from local authors, the bookstore is expected to be a hit with foreigners and locals alike as Cambodia recovers from the pandemic.
The bookstore founder said currently, they are getting regular customers who are fans of authors who support their business, resulting in a good following of fans and customers alike.
Chanbopha, who has been promoting reading for the past seven years, believes in the traditional method of selling books – not rushing people to buy and giving them time to make their decision.
“Selling books online is easy. You can get a lot of sales but some customers want to see the product in hand to check the quality before buying,” she said.
Also, she said, as Cambodia continues to develop, the literacy level of the people is also increasing.
“Readers always want something that’s not only new, but which will also test and advance their reading ability,” she said, stressing that readers want to gain knowledge from every book they read.
Therefore, she said authors need to put more knowledge into their manuscripts in order to meet readership demands.
“Also, the price of books is an issue that many readers are concerned about,” she said.
“Some books are more expensive because of the level of knowledge they provide and the quality of the author. Students especially struggle with being able to afford high-level books due to their increased price,” she said.
“We know writers are not charities. However, they should try to make their prices as affordable as possible in order to allow access for the most number of readers,” she said.
As well as the aforementioned, Le Story has created a service for local writers who wish to print their manuscripts but cannot afford to do so.
Local writers can contact Le Story for printing assistance and if they need a space for a fan meeting event or otherwise.
“Both individual writers and writing companies can contact Le Story for a space to display their books in the store with negotiable conditions,” she said.
Currently, around 400 book titles are available at Le Story. Children aged anywhere from five to full- grown adults can visit the bookstore and find something to their case.
Le Story is located at #184 St. (208), Samdach Chakrei Ponn Phnom Penh. It is open every day from 8:30am to 7pm and has delivery service for all books on offer.
- Tags: books