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More than 100,000 visit three-day book fair

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
Visitors look at books at the fair. KT/Mai Vireak

More than 100,000 people visited the three-day Cambodian Book Fair, which ended yesterday, at the National Library in Phnom Penh.

Hundreds of people, mostly youths, were yesterday seen visiting the fair and many of them were carrying books which they bought.

Khlot Vibolla, Cambodian National Library director, yesterday said that 108,000 people visited this year’s fair, an increase from about 50,000 people last year.

“We do not have the exact figures on the number of books sold at this year’s fair,” she said. “But judging by the number of visitors we can assume that at least one person bought one book.”

Ms Vibolla said that this is the seventh edition of the Cambodian Book Fair, which started in 2011 and was held annually except for 2012.

She said that the first fair in 2011 saw 1,000 visitors and seven or eight participating book stores.

Ms Vibolla noted that last year there were 84 participating book stores.

“However, this year, there were 117 participating book stores, and a 100 percent increase in visitors compared with last year,” she said.

Ms Vibolla also that Prime Minister Hun Sen had provided 80,000 books to distribute to visitors free of charge.

The book fair is held to promote the reading habit among children and youths and also showcase the latest works of Cambodian authors to adults and professionals.

It is also aimed at supporting local writers and the Kingdom’s publishing industry.

Hok Sothik, director of Sipar Books which co-organised the fair with the national library, yesterday said at the event that popular books sold included history books, books on self-development and children’s books.

“We try to promote book reading among the public because in the past people did not bother to read books,” he said. “I think that more than 100,000 books were sold during this fair.”

Ek Chan Chakrya, a student from International Phnom Penh University who was at the fair, yesterday said that she believes that the book exhibition will help to encourage youths to read more and improve their knowledge.

“I bought three books on Asean, including its leadership and governance,” she said. “I hope that more youths will visit the next fair to improve their knowledge.”

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