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"Literature Map" to collect data on readers in Russia

May 22, 2014, 17:23 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG
Findings will help estimate administrative and financial investment needed to ensure the nation's long-held love of literature does not fade with the print on the page
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© ITAR-TASS/Yuri Belinsky

ST. PETERSBURG, May 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia's long-held reputation as a nation of readers is being questioned in findings that will surprise many who know the land.

The share of books in the total volume of media consumption in Russia is disappointing, with “minimal percent”, Rospechat, the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications, planning a "Literature Map" of Russia by the end of the year bemoans.

It's to chart ways of developing the book market, agency deputy head Vladimir Grivoriev told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.

Sales reached about 80 billion roubles ($2.3 billion) last year, assessed as a small volume and not even compensated by sales of e-books, whose increasing popularity also presented a serious pirating risk, analysts say.

Plotting readership, Grigoriev said 60-year-olds and above were the most avid readers, having developed a love of the written word. Minors also demonstrated positive results, but reading skills narrowed in the 10-14-year-old category and “we are losing children as readers”, he added.

Activity in libraries, museums, universities, writers' organisations and stores will be mapped for cross-country analysis. This will use benchmarks from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO.

Findings will help estimate administrative and financial investment needed to ensure the nation's long-held love of literature does not fade with the print on the page.

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