IDEAS Surprising News from Vietnam …

Posted by Axel Thorer on 28. August 2017

How a lady invented very special public libraries

„Roaming Thuy“ (left) with readers at one of her „Library Temples“ ...

MY OLD FRIEND HANS HAS AN INTERESTING FRIEND IN HANOI. Bui Tui Thuy, nicknamed „Roaming Thuy“, dreams of becoming an artist, but so far works in a normal 9 to 5 office job. But her creativity is overwhelming and she told Hans about her latest activity, and he related it to me: Roadside libraries, where people exchange their old books for new ones! „Roaming Thuy“ uses the hundreds of old „ghost shelters“ along the countryside roads (all over Southeast Asia, looking like „bird houses“ on stilts), where superstitious people used to pray for protection and forgiveness. But in Vietnam, a country of socialist Marxism, ghosts got almost extinct and the shelters, some even call them mini-temples, are not used in the old sense anymore. When „Roaming Thuy“ discovered the possibilities, she filled them with the books she had finished reading, added a „How o do ..“ notice – and hit a jackpot: Readers understood the idea immediately, brought their used books, took one they hadn’t read so far, and the idea became a country-wide success …

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