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Mongolia's National Book Festival kicks off

ULAN BATOR, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The 31st edition of Mongolia's National Book Festival kicked off nationwide on Friday with the theme "Let's Read More" to promote reading in the country.

Under the auspices of the country's parliament speaker Gombojav Zandanshatar, the book festival, held twice a year, is being simultaneously organized by the non-governmental organization Nomiin Soyolt Yertunts (World of Book Culture) in the central squares of the country's capital city of Ulan Bator and all 21 provinces.

"We Mongolians have a long tradition of respecting script and books. There is a saying that people who read develop," Zandanshatar said at the festival's opening ceremony.

"Previously, Mongolia has hosted the National Book Festival twice a year only in the capital, Ulan Bator. This time it is being organized in the capital city and all provinces," he added, urging citizens to read more.

The book festival aims to promote book culture, encourage children and youth to read more and foster more appreciation for authors and writers.

The three-day event brings together hundreds of book publishers, booksellers, authors and thousands of book lovers.

The festival is the largest book event in the Asian country.