Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Book Day set to promote culture of reading

Book Day set to promote culture of reading

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Khmer Writers’ Association holds a joint press conference for World Book Day on Monday. CAMBODIABOOKDAY

Book Day set to promote culture of reading

The Khmer Writers’ Association, the Scholar Library and publishing house Business Record will hold the first Cambodian Book Day at the Morodok Techo National Stadium from April 6-10. There will be 48 booths exhibiting books – and a concurrent campaign will distribute roughly 1,000 free titles.

Sok Lak, the co-founder of Scholar Library – a community library based in Phnom Penh – said at a March 28 press conference that the book day would promote year-round reading. The day aims to promote the widespread dissemination of local and international books, inspire a culture of reading and love of books, as well as promote reading ability and an independent learning culture. It was made possible with the support of online shopping apps WOWNOW and Khmum.

He added that the programme would coincide with the 25th anniversary of World Book Day, which was established by UNESCO in April 1995. More than 100 countries have joined the campaign since then.

Lak said the 48 booths would represent publishing houses, bookshops – both brick-and-mortar and online, libraries, authors, book distributors and art and culture associations. The programme will hand out about 1,000 books, with the remaining stock expected to be discounted up to 70 per cent in order to promote recreational reading among those who may not be able to afford books.

“This campaign is for those who are in need or have difficulties finding or buying books. We want to contribute to a culture of reading in Cambodia,” he said, adding that around 10,000 participants are expected at the event.

He noted that the momentum of reading has increased significantly since 2017. Not only have more authors been published, but many institutions and ministries have taken part in encouraging reading. In addition there are now more bookstores in the provinces than ever, he added.

However, Lak said that some Cambodians are still confused about the purpose of reading and think that reading books is only for those who are studying, and not the general public. This is an elitist view that makes many people reluctant to read, he added.

“We are taking this opportunity, along with the writers’ association, to inspire the positive idea that all people, regardless of whether they are a motodop or civil servant, have the right to choose a book they like, and read it,” he said.

Pol Pisey, vice-president of the writers’ association, said the day would encourage writers and enable face-to-face encounters between readers and authors. It is an excellent way of promoting relationships between the two.

“When an author writes a book and it attracts supporters, it gives them strength. I am an author myself, and I don’t need material gifts – if a reader tells me they enjoyed my work, or found it interesting, I am happy. I hope this celebration of books brings writers and their fans together,” she said.

“We should inspire children to read from a very young age. I want to share something from my own youth. When I was a child, my father encouraged me to read, and thanks to him I have read something every day since my childhood,” she added.

She hoped the book day would inspire the next generation to love reading as much as she did. If people read just a little, every day, it will become a habit and they will fall in love with reading.


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Famed US collector family return artefacts to Cambodia

    In the latest repatriation of ancient artefacts from the US, a total of 33 pieces of Khmer cultural heritage will soon return home, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In a September 12 press statement, it said the US Attorney’s Office for the

  • Tina rebuffs ‘false claims’ over falling paddy price

    Agriculture minister Dith Tina has shed light on the trade of paddy rice in Battambang – Cambodia’s leading rice-producing province – in a bid to curb what he dubs a “social media fact distortion campaign” to destabilise the market. While acknowledging that the prices of paddy

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • Kampot curfew imposed to curb ‘gang’ violence

    Kampot provincial police have announced measures to contain a recent spike in antisocial behaviour by “unruly’ youth. Officials say the province has been plagued by recent violence among so-called “gang members”, who often fight with weapons such as knives and machetes. Several social observers have

  • PM outlines plans to discuss trade, policy during US visit

    Prime Minister Hun Manet is set to meet with senior US officials and business leaders during his upcoming visit to the US for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for September 20. While addressing nearly 20,000 workers in Kampong Speu province, Manet said he aims to affirm