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Bookship drops anchor in Bangkok

The Logos Hope floats in Bangkok. Photo by The Nation

Publication Date : 22-02-2013

 

The world's largest floating library, the Logos Hope, has moored in Bangkok, welcoming visitors and selling books until March 11

 

Docked at the Klong Toei port, the "bookship" carries around 5,000 titles - more than 500,000 volumes - covering a wide range of subjects, including science, information technology, sport, hobbies, cooking, the arts, children's and family reading as well as a large collection of publications on Christianity. The ship also has Thai books.

The Logos Hope is open daily from 10am to 9:30pm Tuesdays to Saturdays and from 2 to 9:30pm on Sundays and Mondays. The entry fee is 20 baht, just less than a dollar. Children under 12 get in free but must be accompanied by an adult.

Operated by the German non-profit GBA (Good Books for All) Ships, project director Lloyd Nicholas said the Logos Hope's mission is to bring knowledge, assistance and hope to people worldwide.

Education Minister Phongthep Thepkanjana presided over the opening ceremony yesterday.

Also on hand was Suppanit Manajitt, senior executive vice president of the Mitr Phol Group, which is supporting the Logos Hope's visit in conjunction with Bangkok being selected as the World Book Capital this year by Unesco.

Logos Hope was built in 1973 and first served as a car ferry. It was was bought by GBA in 2004, converted into a "bookship" and has since visited more than 43 countries and 68 ports, selling some 3 million books and welcoming more than 2.6 million visitors.

Before the Logos Hope, three ships had carried book fairs, including the Logos, the Doulos and the Logos II. The Doulos docked at Klong Toei in 2009.

The crew of the Logos Hope numbers around 400 volunteers, hailing from 45 countries, and includes young children and teenagers. Among the hands are five Thais.

Wasana Buakham, former officer, said she joined the crew to be of service and out of devotion to Jesus Christ.

"This ship is not just a bookshop - it is a catalogue of international experiences waiting to be shared with others," Wasana said

Narong Srisakunphaet came aboard six months ago, after he graduated from Chulalongkorn University. He was a church volunteer and wanted to further extend a helping hand.

"I work in the bookshop because that is the face of the ship and the best chance to meet other people," Narong said.

 

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