Staunton, February 6 – Russian publishers put out 111,000 different books and brochures in Russian last year, the Russian Book Chamber says, while issuing a total of 1050 books in the non-Russian languages of the country. That means there was one new title for every 1,000 ethnic Russians but only one for every 30,000 non-Russian speakers.
For comparison, the Chamber adds that Russian publishers issued 1393 titles in English. It said they had put out 272 in Tatar, 161 in Sakha, and 153 in Bashkir, while fewer than 50 in most other non-Russian languages (nazaccent.ru/content/32172-bolee-tysyachi-knig-na-yazykah-narodov.html).
But the Russian publishing monitor says things are getting better for the non-Russians: The number of books in their languages rose from 976 to 1050 over the last two years. But between 2018 and 1029, the number of newspapers in non-Russian languages fell from 557 to 541 and the number of journals in these tongues fell from 137 to 135.
The Chamber did not provide details on print runs which are typically far higher for Russian-language releases than non-Russian ones or for the key issue of price. In many cases, low-print run materials have even higher prices than others and thus increasingly are skyrocketing beyond the reach of Russians and non-Russians alike.
For a discussion of this larger problem, one likely to become even worse when existing government subsidies for all but the most essential materials end and one that hits both groups hard but the generally poorer non-Russians even harder, see newizv.ru/news/society/02-02-2020/bednym-ne-chitat-pochemu-stoimost-knig-v-rossii-stala-shokiruyusche-vysokoy).