Foreign language books in Vietnam: A big world in a small window

April 24, 2023 | 19:27
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A bookshop in Hanoi is bringing beloved French titles to readers in Vietnam.

A passion for books has motivated Huong Lan and enthusiastic young associates to serve readers at Blue Horizon Bookshop, a foreign language bookshop specialising in offering French and English titles.

In honour of the reading culture and World Book Day on April 23, many customers visited Blue Horizon on the capital's Thuy Khue street to pick their favourite French or English books.

Foreign language books in Vietnam: A big world in a small window
Huong Lan at Blue Horizon Bookshop

The French-Vietnamese cultural exchange has never stopped over the years, but it is also facing unprecedented challenges. While French is becoming increasingly rare. However, Blue Horizon owner Huong Lan said, "While the market for French books is relatively small, there is still a place for my bookshop."

"Each bookshop is like a small window for book lovers to learn about the outside world. Books are always an endless inspiration for me," she added.

In the hope to share and convey the love for books not only to her own children, but also to all Vietnamese children, Huong Lan decided to open Blue Horizon in 2016.

“I studied French at high school, then got a scholarship to study abroad in France. I studied and lived in Paris for eight years. Thanks to that, I have the opportunity to discover and enjoy the richness and diversity of French culture. I wish I could share these cultural values with local readers, especially young people who have chosen to learn French as a foreign language,” she said.

In order to support Vietnamese readers to access a diverse and rich source of books, Blue Horizon carefully selects each book and directly imports them.

Blue Horizon's development strategy focuses on three aspects: a large and diverse number of books scientifically and practically divided into different genres and suitable for different age groups; competitive price and much cheaper than self-ordering from abroad; and quick delivery to customers within a guaranteed timeframe.

Foreign language books in Vietnam: A big world in a small window

Regarding the French book segment, Blue Horizon started with book publications for students at French schools in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and provided them with the must-read books during the school year. Previously, it was quite burdensome for parents to purchase French books for their children, and the prices were often costly.

Now, by ordering through Blue Horizon, they can purchase the book for the same price as those purchased in France, and the waiting time is also much shorter than before.

“We are also keen on quickly bringing the latest beloved titles by young readers in France to Vietnam. Nowadays, we can keep abreast of the worldwide situation with just a few clicks on the internet. Vietnamese readers no longer need to wait so long to devour the best-selling books in New York, London, Paris, or Quebec. Furthermore, there are always great works of classical literature in our bookshop, which have stood the test of time and are never forgotten,” Huong Lan added.

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