The majority of bookstores in Belarus are state-owned. State institutions often dictate the sellers what should be displayed on bookshelves by placing all publications into two categories: "socially significant" and "others". The state-owned book trade monopoly Belkniga may forbid the sales of selected titles on 'ideological' grounds. State-run bookshops enjoy special conditions: they don't pay rent. Another trick for them to stay competitive is to sell cheap Russian literature in huge volumes. Russian books are cheap because of circulation: they are sold in great numbers all over former USSR. Belarus-produced books have no chance, as they're more expensive and less numerous. A Belarusian book has an average circulation of between 300 and 1000 copies. The situation for independent publishers and booksellers is aggravated by high VAT rates - 20% for book sales.
Nevertheless, there are bookstores in Minsk that look like a modern cultural space - not like a classic Soviet bookstore.
- Address: 72 Niezaliežnasci Ave (Metro station Akademija Navuk)
- Opening hours: Mon-Fri from 10:00 till 20:00, Sat from 10:00 till 18:00.
- Contact data: +375 17 292-00-52, +375 17 292-46-52, +375 17 292-50-43
- Website: Akademkniga
- Address: 19 Niezaliežnasci Ave
- Opening hours: Mon-Fri from 10:00 till 20:00, Sat from 10:00 till 20:00, Sun from 10:00 till 19:00
- Contact data: +375 17 296-65-35
- Website: Centralnaja
Book market BelEXPO
- Address: 27 Janki Kupaly St. (pavilion B). Getting there: Trolleybus 29, 12, 40 or bus 24, 57 to Operny Teatr stop.