World Book Capital is an initiative by the UN body to recognise cities around the world for promoting books and fostering reading, Lam Dinh Thang, director of the city Department of Information and Communications, said.

HCM City hopes to achieve that title by 2025, he said.

For that, it needs to foster reading, especially in rural and other underprivileged areas, and do surveys on reading habits to make policies supporting publishers, he said.

HCM City Book Street in District 1 is popular among book readers, and it received more than three million visitors, held 400 book-themed events and sold over 660,000 books last year.

Le Hoang, director of Book Street Ltd., said revenues increased by 113.7% from 2021.

Other book venues such as Phu Lam and District 5 book parks are also very popular.

The city organises events meant to foster reading, such as the annual Book Festival during the Lunar New Year holidays.

It is home to 39 domestic and foreign publishers and 1,500 local libraries, and publishes over 2 million books every year besides 3.4 million ebooks.