Bookworm, a reading rendezvous for foreigners in Hanoi

As a lover and collector of books, Hoang Van Truong has built Bookworm into one of the largest foreign language bookstores in Vietnam with over 30,000 books. Located at No. 44, Chau Long street, Bookworm is a favorite venue for foreign readers in Hanoi.

I met Joseph Jones from Canada when he was looking for a book at Bookworm. Jones said he learned about this bookstore from the internet and has now become a close friend of the shop’s owner after being a frequent customer.

“Bookworm not only has diverse types of books but is a nice place for readers. Its undisturbed space is pleasant for readers who get absorbed in their books. The bookstore’s beautiful decorative items help foreigners learn more about Vietnam and its people,” Jones said.

Bookworm is a small bookstore at No. 44, Chau Long street, Hanoi.

The bookstore has many old books in English and French.

The nice space on the first floor of the shop.

It has a separate part decorated in Vietnamese style to introduce Vietnamese books.

Vietnamese books displayed at the shop.

Old books are carefully preserved by Bookworm’s staff.

Bookworm has many valuable old books collected by its owner, Hoang Van Truong.

The shop is a favorite venue for foreign readers in Hanoi.

It has a collection of more than 30,000 books.

The types of books are diverse.

It is an address for foreign readers to exchange their old books.

Set up 18 years ago, Bookworm is now a popular reading space for foreigners in Hanoi. The bookstore has over 30,000 books in various fields in English and French. It not only updates new books frequently, but also has a large quantity of old books supplied by foreigners living in Hanoi.

At Bookworm, one can enjoy reading while having a cup of exquisitely fragrant Vietnamese coffee in a space which is isolated from a bustling Hanoi.

The bookstore also organizes regular activities for foreigners to better understand about the life and culture of the Vietnamese. Each month, Bookworm holds a talk to introduce new books. It also organizes frequent exchanges between Vietnamese artists and composers and foreigners living in Vietnam. Every Tet (Vietnamese lunar new year festival), it holds an event for foreign readers to experience Tet customs and practices, including wrapping banh chung (glutinous rice cake with pork and green bean fillings) and writing calligraphic letters about Tet wishes.

“I have a passion for reading. For me, collecting books is very important. My collection has grown from a couple of books to tens of thousands now. Bookworm gives me a chance to make friends with many foreigners. We can share our knowledge and opinions about the reading culture,” said Hoang Van Truong, the bookstore’s owner.

Story: Bich Van – Photos: Viet Cuong