What do Russians read now?

Reading has become extremely trendy in today's Russia. Someone put forward a suggestion to make the list of books that every person should read in this life. Others offered to make the list of books that change people's way of thinking and bring nations together. Numerous polls devoted to the subject have appeared on the Russian Internet. The works by internationally recognized classical writers still have their laurels.

The idea of 100 books has arrived in Russia from England. The Daily Telegraph has recently published the list of books, which every gentleman should read to be educated enough to speak to the Queen.

If you go to England, you will have an opportunity to find the book that simply lists 1,000 most important books that man has ever written. Will 100 books be enough for Russian readers? Alexander Pushkin once said: "To become a person, one should read only three books." And then he added: "No one knows which books exactly, so you'll have to read all the rest."

Here is a part of the list that we found on one of Russian online discussion boards. The list contains the books which are hard not to read indeed. There's Miguel de Cervantes and his "Don Quixote", Daniel Defoe and his "Robinson Crusoe," Jonathan Swift and "Gulliver's Travels," Mikhail Lermontov with his "A Hero of Our Time," Nikolai Gogol and "Dead Souls."  

The Golden Age of the Russian literature: "Oblomov" by Ivan Goncharov, "Fathers and Son" by Ivan Turgenev, "Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy...All these works are extremely interesting to read  - it is simply impossible not to read them.

Russia is not the most reading nation in the world as it used to be. Nowadays, this title belongs to Germany. Mikhail Yukhma, a writer, said that the number of writers living in Hamburg is larger than in the whole of Russia. Another Russian prominent writer, Mikhail Zhvanetsky, did not count anyone. However, he recollected his visit to Paris as follows: "Anyone whom you choose to approach turns out to be either a poet, a writer or an artist at worst."

There was a period in Russia's history when it was believed that neither literature, nor art on the whole could do any good to anyone. Adolf Hitler was an artist, and look at what he had done. Joseph Stalin used to write poems. The Soviet dictator valued literature and writers, but his hobby did not put an end to repressions among writers.

It would be very interesting indeed to finally take a look at the list of 100 books made by Russian people. Who is going to make it, though? Writers and cultural figures do not have time for it. They are not interested in this kind of work.

It would also be interesting to know which books Russian presidential candidates like to read. What does Mr. Zhirinovsky like to read, for example? He has written many books himself, but he obviously reads something.


Yury Yentsov



Read the original in Russian 


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov