Free book ATM supports reading culture in Hanoi amid virus outbreak


Free book ATM supports reading culture in Hanoi amid virus outbreak (Thai Ha Books)

Nguyen Manh Hung poses for a photo with a student who came to get a book from his ATM machine on April 24 (Thai Ha Books)

By Phong Lan
Dantri Online Newspaper, Vietnam

HANOI: Following the recent success of the rice ATM project, a free book ATM machine has been set up in Hanoi to help people continue their reading habits amid the difficult time caused by the Covid-19 epidemic.

The first-ever free book ATM machine was launched on April 24 in Cau Giay District’s To Hieu Street by the Hanoi-based Thai Ha Books Joint Stock Company.

Speaking with the local Tien Phong Newspaper, the company’s Chairman and CEO, Nguyen Manh Hung, said the idea came after he successfully ran several free rice ATM machines in Hanoi and in some northern provinces.

“The rice ATM machines have turned out very helpful to the people who are hardest hit by the virus outbreak,” Hung said.

“We have also been largely supported by many donors. I then thought that besides rice, poor people also need knowledge. We went on right away and set up the machine in just five days.”

The machine operates just like a vending machine but it gives out books free. It contains 64 books in various fields including economics, sciences, politics, culture, and society. At present, all the books are from the Thai Ha Books Company.

Hung said that he hopes the project will also help expand reading culture among the community.

“Now we plan to pilot this project during the Covid-19 epidemic only,” he said. “We are waiting for feedback from local people to see if we can continue and expanding the project to other localities later.”

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