Reading is considered an important source of knowledge for students, but it appears that many Cambodians do not see it as anything more than that, says a young author.

“Although reading has the potential to be a massive boon to one’s livelihood, it remains a limited pastime in the Kingdom. Most students who read books only do so when they are made to by their teachers. Some of them enjoy it, but most have told me that reading bores them and makes them sleepy,” said Ly Dara, an author who became famous for reading an astonishing 779 titles between 2013 and 2016.

“I created my own method to focus my attention span on a book. I can roughly calculate how long a title will take me, based on the number of pages and chapters. If I think I can finish it in less than a day, I will clear my schedule and dedicate myself to it until it is complete. Some longer titles may need several days, but I always make sure I assign myself sufficient time to finish it,” he added.

“It also helps to read one short sentence at a time, so that I am sure I have captured the author’s meaning,” he continued.

Dara said is important for a reader to choose a title that is relevant to him or her, so it will hold their attention and not bore them.

“Most of the books I read are about business, whether career readiness, marketing or branding, and some are about the US. The reason I read so much about the US is because there are so many free pieces of writing available online,” he added.

Dara publishes between two and four titles a year, and chooses to write in the English language.

He recorded the 779 books he read from 2013 to 2016, but stopped counting until October 2020. As of the recent New Year, he had added another 225 titles to his total. The majority of the works he has conquered were between 100 and 300 pages.