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A new chapter for Yangon booksellers

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Increased rents and advanced technology have made life difficult for publishers in the commercial capital, but a new “Book Street” could inspire more people to read, vendors say.


THE RECENT initiative by the regional government to move most street vendors to a new night market near the Yangon River may be facing teething problems, but similar plans to move the city’s booksellers to a new site in the commercial capital has so far been met with a largely positive response.
For decades, booksellers peddling their wares along Pansodan Street have formed an important part of the city’s fabric, but last year authorities forced them to move as part of plans to clear the increasingly cluttered pavements. On January 7, a new home was found for them at the “Yangon Book Street”, located on the corner of Thein Phyu and Anawrahta streets, next to the historic Secretariat and Central Press buildings.
“Life was hard when rules for street vendors were imposed,” said U Tin Myint, who spent 40 years selling books on Pansodan Street before being moved on last year by authorities. “I have moved my shop several times in the past, but now we have an official book street and can sell books without any problems,” he told Frontier.

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