MOSCOW, September 28 (Itar-Tass) — Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will attend a regular congress of the Russian Book Union (RBU) on Wednesday.
The Head of Government is to address participants in the congress, meet with writers whose works are published most often and widely and with the directors of major Russian publishing firms, the government press service reports. The congress is to take place in Pashkov House, a branch of the Russian State Library.
Founded in 2001, the RBU is a non-state non-profit organization that brings together the leading domestic publishers, distributors of books, book printing personnel, representatives of the paper industry, the librarianship community, a number of writers' organizations and associations -- more than 1,500 organizations, all in all.
The idea of serving the cultural development of the country is held paramount in RBU activities. The RBU regards it as its priorities to consolidate efforts with a view to developing the domestic book publishing industry, and to promoting educational, enlightening and cultural programmes aimed at popularizing book reading.
The agenda of the RBU congress includes items concerning the summing up of the results of the work done by the RBU over the past ten years, the popularization of book reading among the rising generation, the establishment of the country's common information space, and interaction between the book industry and government agencies.
Russia is among the world's five most developed countries for book publishing along with China, the United States, Spain, and Britain. By 2008, the capacity of the book market of Russia amounted in monetary terms to $3,000 million; the number of book titles was 120,00-130,000 (as against 80,000 titles in the Soviet Union in mid-1980s), with books by Russian authors accounting for 80 percent of them, and and with foreign publications turned out by about 1,000 large, medium-sized, and small-scale publishing houses accounting for 20 percent.