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Book Exchange: Day of reading gems for bookworms

Srey Kumneth / Khmer Times Share:
Ros Roeum (centre) carefully checking the terms and condition of the Book Exchange programme, instructed by an event organiser. He later brings back five favourite books from his first Book Exchange outing. KT/Srey Kumneth

HAVE you ever gotten bored finding the wrong book to fill up your reading time? Or maybe it dawned on you that you want to share “this incredible book” with those who should read it? If you have that urge to share a novel title, the Book Exchange is just the platform to find a good read over the weekend.

Joining the crowd at Factory Phnom Penh last Saturday, many bookworms were seen happily picking up the books they have never read before.

Aiming to promote the reading culture in the Kingdom, a group of young readers has set up the Book Exchange event during the weekends for local and foreign readers to swap books freely. The terms and condition of the Book Exchange is simple: A fair trade – a participant only needs to bring any number of books to exchange for the same number from a wide choice of over 500 books sponsored by Phnom Penh Book Exchange and other bookworms.

The only condition being: it must be an original copy of English or Khmer. Neither textbooks nor magazines are accepted in the trade-off.

Yeoun Roth, an event organiser, said: “Sometimes some books are difficult to find (in the market). So that when they come here, they have more choices to find the book from old to new, rare to popular and to antiquarian (rare) books.”

Carrying a batch of Khmer books, a 29-year-old architect from Battambang, Ros Roeum, told Youth Today that it is his first-time joining the Book Exchange in the capital. Coming with a group of three, he was grinning ear to ear to find such an event in the Kingdom.

“It’s good for general readers. Some readers only read their book once and still keep it on their bookshelf. Now it’s a chance to share it with other readers. It is also a way to make the book more useful. It helps those who want the book, but can’t afford to buy it or those who cannot find the title in the local market,” said Mr Roeum.

Mr Roeum is interested in reading fantasy novels, motivational books and books on architecture. Meanwhile, he claimed that some motivational books he found in the Book Exchange programme are worth reading while they may not be available on the market anymore.

The Book Exchange is only held once a month, for now. Check the announcement of the Book Exchange programme on Facebook page WS1 by Factory Phnom Penh to find out the next date. Bookworms shouldn’t miss the chance to grab a beloved book to read at bedtime.

Friendly reminder: Based on the first experience with the Book Exchange last Saturday, English books outnumber the Khmer-language books. So be encouraged bring your ‘original’ Khmer books to the exchange.

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