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Entries / Book Trade (entry)

Book Trade (entry)


Categories / Literature. Book Publishing/Book Selling

BOOK TRADE. State, institutional and private book trading has been carried out in St. Petersburg since the first years of its existence. The first official bookshop belonged to the St. Petersburg Printing Office and was opened in 1714 in the Merchants' Court on Gorodskoy Island. Book trading was carried out by institutional printing offices: the Senate Printing Office, the Printing Office of the Naval Academy and the Printing Office of Alexander Nevsky Monastery. Merchants were involved in private book selling; they took books from institutional shops and sold them along with other goods. From 1728 until the 1750s, the Petersburg Academy of Sciences held a monopoly in the book market: the Book Chamber was opened in the building of the Chamber of Curiosities in 1728 (it was called the Book Shop from 1735) and the book storehouse (magazein) was opened. From the beginning of the 1730s, the Book Chamber printed book sellers' lists - the first Russian trade book catalogues. Books were sold in Morskoy Market near Tsaritsyn Meadow (the district of the present-day Palace Square) before 1737 and also in other districts. The first private books stall appeared in 1768 but the growth of private book trade occurred in the late 18th century, following the Decree of Empress Catherine II On Free Printing Offices (1783). There were 29 private book shops in St. Petersburg at the end of the 18th century. The private book trade was started by foreigners, owners of the first private printing offices; they remained in the book market until the beginning of the 19th century. Their book shops were situated on Millionnaya Street and on Bolshaya Morskaya Street, on St. Isaac's Square and in other places. From the end of the 18th century Nevsky Prospect became the centre of the book trade and it remained the centre until 1917. Books were sold in the Big Merchants' Court (booksellers I. P. Glazunov, V. A. Plavilshchikov, M. K. Ovchinnikov, G. K. Zotov et al.), from the 1780s – they were sold in the so called Anichkov House on the corner of Nevsky Prospect and Sadovaya Street (the territory of the present-day Russian National Library, 18 Sadovaya Street) where V. S. Sopikov owned a shop in 1789–95. There were 22 book stalls and shops on Nevsky Prospect at the beginning of the 19th century. Other centres for the book trade were: Sadovaya Street where shops of Glazunov, the brothers, Zaikin, the brothers, Plavilshchikov were situated; the building of the Pages College (26 Sadovaya Street) – stalls of F. L. Sveshnikov, I. V. Popov et al., in 1836, I. T. Lisenkov opened a shop there. Book trade was carried on in Apraksin Court (mostly second-hand books), in Andreevsky Market (from the middle of the 1780s, up to the fire of 1796), in Sytny Market etc. Lists of private shops and stalls were published from the end of the 18th century (shops of the Glazunovs, P. I. Bogdanovich, Ovchinnikov, Sopikov et al.). The growth of the book trade became visible at the beginning of the 19th century: book shops trading according to the system storehouse-to-counter gave way to shops. Smirdin's Shop (22 Nevsky Prospect), and Slenin's Shop (in 1823–29, 30 Nevsky Prospect, from 1829, 27 Nevsky Prospect) among others were the first to appear. Division of the book trade according to branches started: Y. A. Isakov sold mostly foreign books in the Big Merchants' Court; periodicals were sold alongside books in the shop of A. F. Bazunov (25 Nevsky Prospect); Sveshnikov (32 Nevsky Prospect) sold books printed in Moscow and Petersburg printing offices etc. Some booksellers became editors: A. F. Farikov (Big Merchants' Court), Y. A. Jungmeister (18 Nevsky Prospect, Russian Invalid) et al. Several shops of music editors opened at the beginning of the 19th century (J. Dalmas, I. Pets et al.). Methods of book trade widened from the beginning of the 19th century: publishing of bibliographical directories and catalogues, distribution of books by post, book lotteries and clearance sales. The book trade was a business of little profit. By the middle of the 19th century many companies crashed, only the biggest ones survived (companies of Isakov, Bazunov, Glazunov etc.). The leading role in the development of book trade at the end of the 19th to the beginning of the 20 centuries was played by editors and booksellers M. O. Wolf, A. F. Marx, K. L. Rikker, N. G. Martynov, A. S. Suvorin, I. I. Glazunov et al. Specialisation of the book trade was fixed: Rikker traded in technical and medical books, A. F. Devrien traded in agricultural and natural-science literature etc. From the beginning of the 1860s, book stalls heading for radically orientated buyers appeared (stalls of N. A. Serno-Solovyevich on 24 Nevsky Prospect; A. A. Cherkesov on 54 Nevsky Prospect etc). The Russian Society of Booksellers was established in 1883, the Society of Booksellers appeared in 1901, the All-Russian Society of Book Business appeared in 1912, it united over 300 Russian companies. The first congress of editors and booksellers was held in 1909, the second one was held in 1912. The School of the Book Trading Business was opened in 1907 in St. Petersburg with the participation of bookseller Martynov. Worsening of the economic situation caused by World War I of 1914–18 drove the book trade to the edge of disaster; publishing houses and storehouses of Wolf, Marx, Devrien et al. were destroyed in the course of anti-German riots of 1914–15 in St. Petersburg. After October 1917, private book trading occured up to the end of 1918. The first state book shops were opened in the same year in Smolny and in the Printing Office of the Staff of the Workers-Peasants' Red Army. In August 1918 the book shop on 116 Nevsky Prospect (from December 1919 – 28 Nevsky Prospect, see House of Books) started operating. In 1919 the Petrograd Soviet nationalized the companies of Marx, Wolf, Devrien, Brockhaus and Efron, Glazunov Brothers, end many others. All the bookstores of the country were nationalized in 1920. The Book trade gave place to free of charge distribution in the period of the Military Communism (to institutions, military units etc.). In 1920, the People's Comissariat of Education allowed the creation of book shops for creative unions. A shop for the House of Writers Ear was opened in Petrograd on 11 Basseinaya Street (today 11 Nekrasova Street). From the beginning of the New Economic Policy (1921–23), the activity of private and cooperative publishing houses was allowed; book trade increased, at the same time from 1922, the systematic creation of state book shops started. Mass work of bookporters and movable stalls was organized under the slogan Books to the masses!, book sales started occurring in 1923. The trade section of PetroGIZ opened book shops at 13 and 24 Nevsky Prospect in January 1922. The House of Arts owned a book shop at 14 Herzen Street (today Bolshaya Morskaya Street), the House of Literary Men owned book shops at 51 Liteiny Avenue, 26 Ofitserskaya Street (today Dekabristov Street) at the beginning of the 1920s. At the end of the 1920s, various publishing houses had their shops (the shop of the State Technical Publishing House Technical Books, 64 Ligovsky Avenue etc.); institutional centres of the book trade were created (Academic Books, Military Book Trade, Union of Publishing etc.). Exclusion of private sellers from the book trade started in 1925. Common prices for books of state and private publishing houses were fixed in 1928. Private and cooperative book shops were nationalized in 1930 and passed to the jurisdiction of LenKOGIZ. The educational industrial complex, college of book trade, school of trade and pedagogical courses were formed in 1930 with the purpose of training the staff. Scientific methods for the book trade were developed by a special laboratory in the Book Institute, Document and Script of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. The first distribution centre for mass libraries was opened in 1930 on 53 Liteiny Avenue. At the beginning of the 1930s publishing houses were deprived of the right to independently trade books, the Book Centre was formed in the structure of OGIZ (The Union of State Publishing Houses) which undertook book production on the whole territory of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. By 1940, 60 shops of LenKOGIZ functioned in Leningrad. All in all 20 book shops, including two second-hand book shops continued to work in the period of the siege. The city and the regional Administration of the book trade was created in 1949 – the Leningrad Book Trade. The Leningrad Regional Book Trade separated from it in 1962, they were united under the name Leningrad Books in 1974 (there were over 120 shops in its system in 1990). Departmental shops of the Academic Book (53 Liteiny Avenue, 16 Ninth Line of Vasilievsky Island), the Writers' Bookshop (66 Nevsky Prospect), the House of Military Books (20 Nevsky Prospect), music shops (50 Nevsky Prospect, 7 Rybatskaya Street etc.) have been working since the 1940s. The Spring Book Sales were arranged in Leningrad in 1926–46 and in 1957–90 (from 1966 – on Ostrovskogo Square). Book fairs have been carried out in St. Petersburg since 1991; a constant book fair has been functioning in the former N. K. Krupskaya House of Culture on 105 Obukhovskoy Oborony Avenue since 1992. The book trade was deregularised from 1991, a system of prices was established. It satisfied the market, but according to polling, 64% of the population cannot afford to buy books. By 2002, the number of book shops in St. Petersburg sharply reduced for this reason and on account of high rents, for example, five shops survived on Nevsky Prospect including the House of Books and the Writers Book Shop. All in all over 200 book centres of various types were functioning in 2002 in St. Petersburg.

References: Богданов И. А. Большой Гостиный двор в Петербурге. СПб., 2001; Баренбаум И. Е. Книжный Петербург: Три века истории: Очерки изд. дела и кн. торговли. СПб., 2003.

I. A. Bogdanov, Y. N. Kruzhnov.

Persons
Bazunov Alexander Fedorovich
Bogdanovich Peter Ivanovich
Brockhaus Friedrich Arnold
Cherkesov Alexander Alexandrovich
Dalmas J.
Devrien Alfred Fedorovich
Efron Ilya Abramovich
Farikov A.F.
Glazunov Ivan Petrovich
Isakov Yakov Alexeevich
Jungmeister Yu.A.
Krupskaya Nadezhda Konstantinovna
Lisenkov Ivan Timofeevich
Martynov Nikolay Gavrilovich
Marx Adolf Fedorovich
Ovchinnikov Matvey K.
Petz I.
Plavilshchikov Vasily Alexeevich
Popov I.V.
Rikker Karl Leopoldovich
Serno-Solovyevich Nikolay Alexandrovich
Slenin Ivan Vasilievich
Smirdin Alexander Filippovich
Sopikov Vasily Stepanovich
Suvorin Alexey Sergeevich
Sveshnikov F.L.
the Glazunovs
the Zaikins
Wolf Mavriky Osipovich
Zotov G.K.

Addresses
9th Line of Vasilievsky Island/Saint Petersburg, city, house 16
Bolshaya Morskaya St./Saint Petersburg, city
Bolshaya Morskaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 14
Dekabristov St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 26
Dvortsovaya Square/Saint Petersburg, city
Ligovsky Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 64
Liteiny Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 53
Liteiny Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 51
Millionnaya St./Saint Petersburg, city
Nekrasova St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 11
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 22
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 28
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 50
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 25
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 32
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 24
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 66
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 54
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 18
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 30
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 13
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 116
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 20
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 27
Obukhovskoy Oborony Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 105
Ostrovsky Square/Saint Petersburg, city
Rybatskaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 7
Sadovaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 26
Sadovaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 18
St.Isaac's Square/Saint Petersburg, city

Bibliographies
Богданов И. А. Большой Гостиный двор в Петербурге. СПб., 2001
Баренбаум И. Е. Книжный Петербург: Три века истории: Очерки изд. дела и кн. торговли. СПб., 2003

The subject Index
Kunstkammer
Russian National Library
Page Corps
Page Corps
The House of Books, the Book Shop
Literary Men, House of, Literary Organization

Chronograph
1714
1813
1853