People Flock to the 10th Cambodia Book Fair in Phnom Penh

People have taken the opportunity to discuss books and also meet authors during the 10th Cambodia Book Fair. Photo: Soy Rathanakvisal

PHNOM PENH — Students and people of all ages have attended the 10th Cambodia Book Fair in Phnom Penh that has taken place in front of City Hall, Koh Pich.   

Held on the theme “Master in Writing, Grow in Reading, Rise in Knowledge” on Dec. 14 through 17, the event has involved around 300 booths where were displayed thousands of books offered at special prices, giving students and people from all walks of life the opportunity to make purchases, said Him Dalimronald, who handled the logistics for the event.

“I’ve seen that, in this 10th event, the number of authors has increased and there are many types of books, especially children's books, philosophy books, educational and motivational books,” he said. “Many students and young people are really keen to learn about books.”

Say Visal, who recently graduated from Bak Touk High School in Phnom Penh, said that, since many books have been offered at special prices, he came with several friends to buy some Khmer novels. “I don’t like playing games, and what can reduce my stress is reading books,” he said. “I am looking forward to coming again next year.”

Heng Sokleap, a grade-12 student from Bak Touk High School said she has had a keen interest in reading books since grade 7. The smell of books captures her imagination, she said, adding that self-development and novels are her favorite genres of books.

“I don’t think that reading books affects my preparation for baccalaureate exams,” Sokleap said. “I know how to manage time between self-learning and reading books. I always read books on the way to school and at coffee shops.”


People flocked to the 10th Cambodia Book Fair held over four days in Phnom Penh. Photo: Soy Rathanakvisal

Doy Pechtina, an architect from a private company, said she is interested in reading self-development books and architecture-related books, especially those about traditional Khmer houses. “I usually read books in Khmer when I

want to find some inspiration for my field of work as there are some technical words that are easier for me to grasp in Khmer than in English.

“I also read self-development books in English,” she said. “Mental health can change over time, so reading self-development books can keep me stay motivated and inspired. Reading books can not only improve our vocabularies but also get us to observe different styles of writing from different authors.”

Chhuon Visal, a designer working for a private company, sees reading books as meditation as he often reads before going to sleep. Although the pace is quite hectic in his work, he still finds time to read for relaxation.

While some people find physical books interesting, some like to read books on Kindle, an e-reader device that can carry hundreds of books.

Chao Echhinh, sales representative and handling digital marketing for GooShop Cambodia, said that this e-reader device is not harmful to readers’ eyes due to its unique technology

“More people got to know Kindle this year compared to the first year we displayed our booths at this event,” Echhinh said. “Some people say they like to read books on Kindle because it is easy to carry everywhere.”

The Cambodia Museum of Economy and Money, or SOSORO Museum, at the fair

The SOSORO Museum also took part in the event, putting on display books and coins during the four days of the 10th Cambodia Book Fair. This was an opportunity for students who were unfamiliar with the museum to learn about it as some of them mentioned while visiting the booth.

Nou Kuoy, section chef of the museum, said that an increasing number of young people now visit the museum as they want to know more about the country’s history.  “I hope more people come and visit the museum as it is important to understand our monetary history and the development of Cambodia’s economy,” Kuoy said.

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