Exploring Burma’s Bookshops: Book Street

As if Yangon needed to cement itself even further as a city of books, in 2017, a street of books opened on Theinbyu road on the east side of the Secretariat.  The initiative of short story specialist and current Minister of Information, U Pe Myint to encourage the city’s residents to embrace their literary heritage and love for literature …

(and possibly to provide a place for those book pallets stalls that have been displaced by recent urban expansion), Book Street originally featured nearly a hundred stalls from publishers and booksellers across the city, lined up under small awnings.

Enthusiasm for the street was high when it first opened, the number of stalls increased to 150 and lined both sides of the street, but over the last year the numbers of stall owners has steadily decreased to around 75.  Some say the fee for the stall, at 5000 MMK is too much, forcing owners to abandon the street, others say there is too much competition for readers, both from other literary outlets and the smartphone.

Assuming the street continues into 2020, it is, as with many things in Myanmar, subject to the weather, and runs every weekend during the cool and hot season and closing for the monsoon from May to October.

Open: Saturday and Sunday from 9.00 am to 5.30 pm.

Address: Theinbyu Road, between Mahabandoola and Anawrahta Street.

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