Ai va Ky O Xu So Nhung Con So Tang Hinh (Ai and Ky in the land of invisible numbers), a "math novel" by Professor Ngo Bao Chau, the first Vietnamese mathematician to win the Fields Medal, was the best-selling book at the Ho Chi Minh City Book Festival which wrapped up Sunday.
Around 10,000 copies of the book, written by Chau and Nguyen Phuong Van, were sold, as more than 4.8 million copies of books were snapped up.
The seven-day event at Le Van Tam Park in District 1 attracted more than 850,000 visitors.
The seventh biennial exhibition saw sales of over VND30 billion (US$1.44 million), half again as in 2010.
The other best-sellers included Cung Duong Vang Nang (the Sunny Road) by Duong Thuy, Adam Khoo’s Toi Tai Gioi Ban Cung The (I am Gifted, So Are You), and “Give Me A Ticket to Childhood” by Nguyen Nhat Anh.
Most of them depict the opinions and dreams of young people.
Pham Minh Thuan, general director of Fahasa Company, the leading publisher at this year’s exhibition with revenues of nearly half a million dollars, said: “Readers nowadays prefer books on business, life skills and life experiences of famous people which hold the key to success.
“Despite the popularity of new forms of recreation, books are still popular and considered 'teachers,' especially for young people."
E-books and e-reading gadgets were also showcased at the event.
The participating publishers gifted 10,000 copies to border and naval forces.
A handcrafted book titled Vo Nguyen Giap – Nguoi Yeu Nuoc – Nguoi Thay – Nguoi Linh (Vo Nguyen Giap - the Patriot - the Teacher - the Soldier)and made of do paper from the bark of the Rhamnoneuron balansae tree, silk, and lacquer was a special attraction.
Only 105 copies of the book were printed and 101 were sold at US$105 each.
Besides discounts of up to 50 percent, the festival also featured many activities to promote reading, like discussions between writers and readers and book signing events.