«Человек есть то, что он читает»
The bookshop of writers is one of the oldest bookshops in Russia and the literary club of St. Petersburg. The first congress of Soviet writers, which took place in 1934 in Leningrad, decided to create a bookshop in Leningrad. It was originally located on Liteiny Prospekt 34. Only ten years later the shop moved to its current location on Nevsky Prospekt, 66.
The name lavka (an old-fashioned version of the word bookshop) might sound old-fashioned to a modern person, but it is historically justified.
The name of the store reflects the history of St. Petersburg: since the 18th century book trade in St. Petersburg has been conducted in bookshops in the Gostiny Dvor (the shopping arcade of St.Petersburg) system. The purpose of its creation was to promote Soviet literature and raise people's cultural level.
Various activities were held to promote reading and Russian literature: meetings with authors, reading circles etc.
The literature presented in the shop necessarily included works on study of literature and art. Lavka (bookstore) became a club of writers and immediately gained popularity among the Leningraders.
During the Great Patriotic War, the shop did not close for a single day. Moreover, in February 1942, the book sales increased by 280%.
In the post-war years, the bookshop turned into a major cultural center attended by creative societies of the city. In addition to performances of poets, prose writers, playwrights, critics and translators, a rotating exhibition of paintings by artists from Leningrad and photo exhibitions were held in the Writers' Bookshop.
In the spring of 2016, the Writers' Bookshop opened its doors after a thorough renovation. The main result is the recreation of a unique historical club of writers it had been receiving for many years.
To date, the Bookshop of Writers has been included in the Red Book of St. Petersburg as an object that is not to be renamed or reshaped. Thus, the store retains its historical name and the status of the bookstore-club.
In different years, Olga Berggolts, Fedor Abramov, Evgeny Vinokurov, Vadim Shefner, Yevgeny Yevtushenko and many other famous writers came here.