Yangon Book Plaza opens as new haven for Myanmar readers

The opening day of the Yangon Book Plaza. Photo: MOI

Yangon Book Plaza – a complex of book shops, publishing houses, recreation areas and eateries – opened on the fifth floor of Than Market in Chinatown, Lanmadaw Township, on February 26.

Information Minister Dr Pe Myint, Yangon Region Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein and Yangon Mayor Maung Maung Soe all attended the opening event.

The information minister said book lovers enjoy the environment of bookshops, and that the Yangon Book Plaza has a similar feel to international bookstores.

Writers Thit Sar Ni, Maung Lin Yeik, Ma Thidar (Sangyoung) and Saw Wai recited poems to mark the opening of the book plaza, reported Eleven.

The plaza has a playground for children, a coffee shop, a souvenir shop, a restaurant, two big book shops, book stalls representing 30 publishers, an entertainment platform, vintage book stalls, an English-language bookshop and other public spaces. The plaza is also home to several booths that commemorate famous Myanmar writers. Each booth displays a portrait of the writer, a brief biography and hand-written manuscripts.

The book plaza opens daily from 10am to 9pm.

“The Yangon Book Plaza is the first of its kind, not only in Myanmar, but also in Southeast Asia. It will serve as a place not only to sell publications but to provide other services, including recreation areas where books can be read free of charge. We will even keep books on shelves in the rest room. The idea was initiated by writer Min Lu, who wanted to open a book supermarket. His dream has now come true. We will hold literary talks here and invite schoolchildren,” said Myay Hmon Lwin, the owner of the Yangon Book Plaza.

In celebration of its opening, visitors who buy books between February 26 to March 7 will receive a discount of between 10 and 50 percent.

The committee of Yangon Book Plaza will present awards to the authors of the 12 best books every year.

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