Culture Culture

22/10/2020 - 08:08

Forming "Hue bookcase" to preserve the reading culture

Mr. Phan Ngoc Tho, Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee, is directing the forming of the project on establishing and developing “Hue bookcase”, with the aim to introduce and promote Hue culture and valuable books, develop the reading culture, and create a gift set with a humanistic meaning of the ancient capital.

Last weekend, when having a conversation with Thua Thien Hue newspaper, Chairman Phan Ngoc Tho stated.

Mr. Phan Ngoc Tho, Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee

In the past, there were many works and research on Hue, done by researchers, writers, and poets presented in books of great value through generations and many historical periods.

These books are currently in many different places around the world, in Vietnam, or libraries, pagodas, monasteries, and citizen’s house. Therefore, “Hue bookcase” is built with the goal of introducing and promoting Hue culture, developing the reading culture, introducing valuable books, and creating a gift set with humanistic meaning to edify the ancient capital’s culture.

Since the forming of “Hue bookcase” has many humanistic meanings, which content should be focused on to meet the criteria of “Hue bookcase” Sir?

The idea of forming “Hue bookcase” aims to achieve three goals. The first is to introduce Hue through unique, extraordinary, and valuable works and books that have been collected and restored.

Secondly, this is an opportunity to restore books written about Hue, to stimulate a reading culture that has been fading, aiming to build a reading society. Thirdly, via this bookcase, making a souvenir with Hue people’s humanistic meaning for visitors when coming to Hue - thus, the book becomes a gift.

On what principles are the collection, restoration, and publication of books about Hue based, Sir?

In Hue, besides the national library system, many family bookcases are considered “treasures” with many kinds of valuable thematic books on Hue. These bookcases have been preserved by book lovers and considered as family treasures. The forming of “Hue bookcase” to preserve many bookcases and books about Hue that are at risk of being lost and dispersed.

During the process of forming this project, the province will direct the implementation of the master plan, from calling on organizations and individuals owning valuable books or bookcases to promoting the value and spread to the community as well as maintaining and preserving them for the next generations. At the same time, studying technology-related issues in preservation and maintenance to promote the efficiency and value of “Hue bookcases”, taking the books digitizing as an example.

Does that mean all books about Hue can be a part of “Hue bookcase”?

The works and authors selected to take part in “Hue Bookcase” will be outstanding ones, chose by the Specialized Evaluation and Selection Council established by the province for an objective and impartial selection. This Council conducts the investigation and survey on culture and civilization resources relating to Phu Xuan - Hue from the field and at the central and local storage offices.

Currently, there are rich collections of documents on Phu Xuan – Hue culture and civilization, domestically and abroad, which are necessary to be continued exploiting and supplementing to provide readers with diverse – comprehensive - multidimensional content, knowledge, and stories about this ancient capital land.

Many young people choosing books is a good sign

“Hue bookcase” has an identification stamp and logo, like Hue specialities. Whichever ones having been stamped for identification would be considered valuable when being recorded by the provincial appraisal council.

When the “Hue Bookcase” is formed, the province will have auctions for rare and precious books, a space for displaying and introducing Hue books, and a meaningful Hue book street.

To form “Hue bookcase”, what is the problem that needs to be addressed, Sir?

In the short run, I would direct the relevant departments and sectors to collect a catalogue of Hue books. In other words, the books that are in other countries as well as Vietnam, at libraries and citizen’s houses are carefully listed and classified; and, the mobilization of the socialized participation of organizations and individuals is also carried out.

On that basis, the appraisal council will select them according to each stage and topic. This might be an important bibliographic reference tree, classified by period in accordance with the order of the kings’ time, the period before 1945 then before 1975, the French resistance war, the anti-American resistance war, the contemporary period, and books in libraries in other countries, books in private libraries, etc.

The next step is to carry out competitions to create a logo identifying “Hue bookcase”, at the same time, come up with a plan to promote the logo’s role. I will also write a letter to call on individuals and organizations to contribute books to “Hue bookcase”. Besides that, raising a fund for “Hue Bookcase” to mobilize resources for the formation, printing, distribution and maintenance of “Hue Bookcase”.

Can you predict the success of “Hue Bookcase”?

For a long time, books have been in each person’s life; they are a place not only to record and preserve human knowledge but also to share information and insights between human and human. Good books will give us a chance to expand our knowledge, nourish our souls, which is a way to connect the past - the present and open up the future.

In my view, people who own precious bookcases and books about Hue would want to publish and present to the public someday. But the more important thing is the way that we will behave and treat the books and the book collectors.

In each book, there is a journey or respect to which collectors devote all their heart. I believe that “Hue Bookcase” will be consented and actively responded by citizens if there is a good and respectful way to conduct it.

The core issue is the method. How to let each Hue person in particular and all people in the world or Vietnam be proud to contribute books about Hue from their family bookcase to take part in “Hue Bookcase”. This is a meaningful and practical action.

Thank you, Sir!

By Thai Binh

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