Prominent among them are free online audiobook programmes, targeting people in quarantine and blockade areas.

Covering various topics such as medicine, life skills, and culture, the audio books have provided and enriched the knowledge of readers of all ages, becoming an indispensable spiritual gift for them.

The programme entitled ‘Free Audiobooks for Quarantine Days’ was recently held in August by the Alpha Joint Stock Company in collaboration with Fonos – an application that provides copyrighted audio books. The event attracted around 200,000 listeners, who were offered free access to the 10 best-selling books in various fields such as health, psychology, business and more.

According to the organisers, the event aimed to transmit the spirit and energy from the knowledge source to the readers, especially those in quarantine areas and those working on the frontline in the fight against the pandemic.

Previously, the Information and Communication Publishing House also delivered 10,000 copies of the e-book ‘A handbook for prevention and control of COVID-19 in ensuring occupational safety and hygiene’, including an audio book version, to readers across the country.

Audio books have proven to be a useful means in serving the spiritual life of people. People can listen to an audio book from their devices while traveling on the road, doing housework, gardening or doing other jobs.

Most of the books selected to be uploaded to the audiobook application are carefully examined for their content, with a focus on those popularising COVID-19 prevention and control measures, cheering up and encouraging people’s spirit, thereby raising their awareness and responsibility in protecting their health and that of the community.

Author Nguyen Huy Du introduces the audiobook version of his novel ‘Nuoc Co Hoa’ at a launch ceremony in June 2021 (Photo:VNS/Do Hien)

In addition to hosting events to introduce their books, several authors have now sought to turn their paper books into audiobooks to reach a wider audience.

Author Nguyen Huy Du successfully converted his novel’ Nuoc Co Hoa’ (A Draw in Chess) to the audiobook format. He also often hosts livestream events on social networks to share about the content of books for children. Copies of the paper books are also available for readers.

The novel, which reveals the curious world of chess, is expected to entertain children during the social distancing period as they are not allowed to go to school or go outside to play.

Huy Du said that authors should join the fforts of publishers and distributors to bring their books into the digital environment by launching e-book and audiobook versions of their works.

The Ministry of Information and Communications and the Vietnam Publishers Association are working on detailed plans to promote and manage publishing activities in the digital environment, including piracy protection on audiobooks.