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Kanharith: Kingdom’s bookworms rapidly growing in numbers

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Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith attended the launch of the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale on Thursday. Voun Dara

Kanharith: Kingdom’s bookworms rapidly growing in numbers

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith on Thursday stressed that youth should cultivate a reading habit.

Speaking at the launch of the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale, Kanharith said the book fair allowed people to buy great books at discounted prices.

Big Bad Wolf Book Sale is being held at the Borey Rung Reung market in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district from January 9-20.

“The books are in English because English is a very wide-spread language. Children can learn English by reading these books. I know English because I read a lot.

“We can buy these books for our children so they can read when they are in the car or when they have nothing else to do.

“A lot of Cambodians cannot afford to buy a $50 book. In this fair, you can buy a $50 book for just $5 or $8. This is a great opportunity to expand your library,” Kanharith said.

He said more young Cambodians are developing a love for books and asked the organisers of the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale to hold the fair in the Kingdom regularly.

“Twenty years ago an event like this wouldn’t have attracted a lot of people. However, now more people are taking on reading as a hobby,” he said, noting that last month the 8th Cambodia Book Fair, held at the National Library, attracted 170,000 visitors.

Andrew Yap, a co-founder of the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale, said the fair aimed to improve English literacy.

“Our main mission is to change the world one book at a time, making sure that our books are reasonably priced and everyone can afford to buy them. Many people cannot afford to buy books. This is regrettable because reading a book can change people’s lives and encourage them to follow their dreams.”

Chea Cheng Lang, a second-year student at the Health Science Institute of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, told The Post that the book fair was different from previous events in Cambodia because it showcased “millions of English books”.

“Previous book fairs did not have as many English books, but this one does, and they are all new,” she said.

Siek Gichou, a student at the National University of Management who visited the fair to find a book on international trade, said the books at the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale could not be found anywhere else in the Kingdom.

The 19-year-old student said: “I like reading books more than playing on my smartphone. A few years ago reading books was not a popular hobby in Cambodia. But now young people like me are starting to enjoy books.”


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