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How can books change us?

The “How Worthwhile Is Your Youth” program contributes to changing the minds of many young people.

"When starting to do anything, it is necessary to have a clear thought and goal so as not to waste time in vain and, moreover, not to waste youth," said Nguyen Dieu Anh, a 20-year-old student in Hanoi. She realized this after reading the book “How Worthwhile Is Your Youth”.

Dieu Anh is a 2nd year student majoring in Social Sciences at the University of Darmstadt, Germany. She is an alumnus of the Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for the Gifted, and winner of the 3rd National Prize in History. At the age of 20, Dieu Anh achieved her biggest goal of winning a scholarship to her desired university, saving a considerable amount of money for her family. Without the outbreak of Covid-19, she would have been studying in Germany instead of learning online at home.

Dieu Anh said that she was lucky to read the book “How Worthwhile Is Your Youth” before the age of 20. This book caused Dieu Anh to change her thinking and action, creating her own values and differences.


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Nguyen Dieu Anh, an alumnus of the Hanoi- Amsterdam High School for the Gifted, won the 3rd National Prize in History.


“Youth is only experienced once in a lifetime. I used to ask myself what should I do in the end so that my time as a young person is not wasted. The book made me realize that time is the most abundant asset of youth, but if it is not used effectively, it will become something we will forever regret for not doing so in our 20s,” she said.

On many book forums, there are younger readers who also confide that the book “How Worthwhile Is Your Youth” helped them have useful learning methods, especially changing their habits.

Ha Vy, a 12-year-old who is a student at Doan Thi Diem Secondary School in Hanoi, said the book provided her with many effective online English self-study sites, finding more good books when joining the online reading community shared by the author.

But for Ha Vy, the biggest change is her goal-oriented learning and working methods, the habit of being on time. When asked what what was the motivation to change, Ha Vy said that “How Worthwhile Is Your Youth” was the book that showed her the way.

The book “How Worthwhile Is Your Youth” is by Rose Nguyen, a Facebooker, and blogger about tourism culture. She gives practical advice and many valuable lessons in the journey of self-training and self-improvement to young people. This is the best-selling book of Nha Nam bookstore since it was published for the first time in 2016. Each year, it sells thousands of copies of “How Worthwhile Is Your Youth”.

Author Rosie Nguyen used the famous saying by the Greek philosopher Aristotle as the opening quote: “It makes no small difference to be habituated this way or that way straight from childhood, but an enormous difference, or rather all the difference.”

Best-selling books

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“How Worthwhile Is Your Youth” is not the only book recommended for young people.

Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung, CEO of Thai Ha Books, said that the firm publishes various types of books. So far, the total number of published book titles of Thai Ha Books has reached more than 1,000. The best-selling books include: “You Can Read Anyone”, “Think and Grow Rich - 13 Principles”, "The Key to Living the Law of Attraction", "Goodbye, Things: On Minimalist Living", “Raising Children Is Not A Battle".

“Readers come to these books because they want to be successful, happy, and at peace. However, the most prominent book in 2020 was 'Stoicism'. In less than a year more than 25,000 copies of this book were sold. This book is about a brave, calm and adaptable lifestyle from ancient philosophers. The book provides readers with a very useful practice with five basic techniques about these topics: Negative thinking; the duality of control; fate theory; self-restraint; thinking. The buyers of the book were mostly young people. These are people with many ambitions and dreams, who understand that defining a lifestyle is especially important to lead to real success,” said Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung.

According to statistics from the Literature Publishing House, classic literature stands out, with “Sans famille” (Nobody’s Boy) being republished the most, followed by “Les Miserables” and “Edmondo De Amicis”.

For First News Tri Viet, in the past two years, the best-selling books were those with psychological and spiritual content such as "Many Lives - Many Times", “How to Win Friends & Influence People”, “Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East”, “The Complete Book of Numerology”, and “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”.

For 1980 Books, its best-selling books are those on psychology, including: “Criminal Sychology” series and “The Psychology of Money”. According to a recent survey by 1980 Books, the buyers of these books are 25-40 years old.

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“The Body keeps the Score”, "12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos", and “Me, The Future and The World” are the best-selling books published by Saigon Books.

After nearly 15 years of working in the publishing industry and focusing on children's books, Tan Viet Book statistics show that the best-selling books are those on developing IQ, CQ, and EQ for children; and educational books, or stories for children. Also, books for young readers sell well with topics on personal development such as “Your Image Is Worthy One Million Dollars”, “Change Your Questions, Change Your Life”, and “The Secret to Success for Newcomers”.

For Alphabooks, “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” and “Thinking Fast and Slow” are the bestsellers.

In many countries, we see books everywhere, from bus stops to train stations and people reading books everywhere, at the park, on the train, at the bus station... In some countries reading is even a compulsory lesson in schools.

In Vietnam, if we want to improve the reading culture, cooperation from many sides is needed. For publishers and bookstores, the most important thing is to create interesting 'playgrounds' to attract readers. These places must have good books, beautiful books, and various activities.

For many years, April has been the month for books, when many book-related activities are held, such as "Reading Month" and "Vietnam Book Day" on April 21. In 2020, the first online “Vietnam Book Day” was organized with certain success. Mr. Nguyen Nguyen, Director of the Department of Publication, Printing and Distribution of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said that this year's book fair will be held both online and offline in order to reach a diverse audience, including those in remote areas.

Tinh Le

Seeking books that help change a nation's destiny

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