After a Century, Books Back on Red Square

For the first time in over a century Red Square will be selling books as part of this week's "Books of Russia" festival. Today as tourists skip about snapping selfies on the square's bare, paved expanse, it is difficult to imagine that for centuries Red Square was the site of a noisy, bustling market. Through the clamor of market traders hawking their goods, the trundle of wheelbarrows, the racket of shoppers haggling amid wooden stalls, readers of old would make for Spasskaya Tower to pick themselves up a good book.

This week Russia's Federal Press and Mass Media Agency offers Muscovites the chance to briefly relive that history. From Thursday till Sunday, Red Square will play host to stalls selling over 100,000 books published by more than 300 Russian companies from all across Russia. There should be something for every reader of Russian, from non-fiction to illustrated children's books, antique editions and tatty second-hand editions. When you tire of leafing through books, you can take a break for meetings with authors, cooking masterclasses and contests for children and adult readers.

If your kiddie lit fans are English-language readers, on Saturday after Red Square you might stroll up Tverskaya Ulitsa to St. Andrew's Anglican Church. The church is holding its charity children's book sale with over 300 titles by Usborne, England's largest independent children's literature publisher.

Book Fair: Red Square. Metro Okhotny Ryad, Ploshchad Revolyutsii, Teatralnaya. Thurs. through Sun., 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. bookfestival.ru.

Children's Book Sale: St. Andrew's Anglican Church. 8 Voznesensky Pereulok, Metro Pushkinskaya, Chekhovskaya, Tverskaya. Sat. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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