5-1   The book – an essential attribute of human civilization. We draw from it the experience of generations, behaviors, ways of thinking, acting, criticize, argue and doubt. This is a way of improving the human person, the possibility of intellectual conversation without a companion, filling, enriches and develops much better than some places real contact. Reading so will take root in the life of educated people, which was the same routine necessity like food or sleep. But, unfortunately, we have to state that the percentage of reading, thinking and educated audience in our country steadily decreasing…

A man stops to think when stops to read.
Denis Diderot

5-1The book – an essential attribute of human civilization. We draw from it the experience of generations, behaviors, ways of thinking, acting, criticize, argue and doubt. This is a way of improving the human person, the possibility of intellectual conversation without a companion, filling, enriches and develops much better than some places real contact. Reading so will take root in the life of educated people, which was the same routine necessity like food or sleep. But, unfortunately, we have to state that the percentage of reading, thinking and educated audience in our country steadily decreasing.
What is the reason of such situation? This question we posed to Olcksandr Afonin president of the Ukrainian Association of Publishers and Booksellers (UAPB), honored worker of Ukraine.— The reasons of this negative phenomenon more than enough, but, in my opinion, the main ones are prolonged neglect of Ukrainian authorities as the main human capital of the state, the role of books and reading as the main tools to increase its relevance and impact on the process of nation-building. Expect on social, scientific and economic progress of the country without the knowledge and skills that gave and gives the person the book is useless.
However, it seems that the Ukrainian authorities on the tops is forgotten or never knew. At least when you start to compare the volume of production and consumption of books in the advanced countries of Europe and in Ukraine, it suggests just such a conclusion. In European countries, the number of published books per year does not fall below four copies, and in most of them, this number reaches considerably higher performance – 6-7 units. In general, European experts believe that the production of any country under 2.5 books per year per one resident casts doubt on its ability to restore and to build cultural, educational, scientific and intellectual potential of the nation. That in terms of producing less than 2.5 books per year in the community begin degradation processes. In Ukraine, for the past 19 years, statistics show Print Book Chamber of Ukraine Ivan Fedorov, they range from 09 to 1.4 copy per resident in the country. But this is only printing and consumption values even smaller … We can not agree with logic of Olcksandr Vasylevich as with the statement of Denis Diderot, filed in the epigraph. Really, it is hard to expect from the state of rapid progress in the development, when, according to sociological studies of many marketing agencies, more than half people of Ukraine during last years does not even take book in hands. …- What is threatening the country?
Olcksandr Afonin: «It threatens the very existence of a sovereign Ukrainian state. After all, in order to effectively use the natural resources that our country has awarded the5-2 Most High, upgrade and display the current level of global industrial and technological base of the country requires huge human resources, the mass of people who have comprehensive training with high and very high and professional education, cultural level. The state last two decades only spends their human potential, not making the effort to build it. And as a result, Ukraine from producing country, which had an abundance of its own commercial products widely range and industrial and domestic purposes, exportein tens of countries in the world, has become a country of the consumer the most basic industrial products, limiting their exports metallurgical and chemical semises and agricultural sector even without initial processing. This is a strong indication of gradual but steady loss of independence Ukraine, which begins with the commodity and economic dependence on other countries and end its political dependence. «Certainly, it’s pretty sad, though logical conclusion. However, to our knowledge, in Soviet times, Ukraine had a powerful publishing industry, managed by a separate central government, the status equated to the ministry – the State Committee of the Council of Ministers KRSR for Printing, Publishing and book trade. Then a question of with the book so badly did not stand. Rather, it was a completely different direction. It seemed that the whole country stood in line for books. People get up at night to take the trash and get those anticipated works of Mykhailo Bulgakov, Jack London Maync Reid … So why did it happen that a book in the independent Ukraine found itself in such a predicament with its creators? Olcksandr Afonin: «Really, in Soviet times Ukraine had tall, almost European, level of production and higher consumption by European books. It was the policy of the state – to enrich people culturally, spiritually and intellectually. And ideology has nothing to do for their own ideological literature cumulatively do not exceed 7 % of the total production of the country. Indeed, 93 % of all publications were educational, cultural, scientific and popular science books, publications of engineering, technology, literature. All this work enrich the person raising its culture, professionalism, intelligence. State funded consistently replenish the library, regardless of jurisdiction, not only by national publications, but also in literature, especially the so called non- fiction publications that went out of print in the Soviet Union, Europe and the world.
In general, at the end of 1980 in Ukraine produced about 4 books per year per resident, with an average of one loser names of 23.5 thousand. Even without buying a book in a bookstore, for the time being there were in Ukraine together with enterprises ‘«Ukrknygy» «Ukoopspilka, book lovers, unions’ «Mcdknyga», «Akadcmkny-ga», «War Book», Executive Committee bookshops almost 4000 every Ukrainian could obtain any book that was published during the year in Ukraine, in the library.
Such happened that after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the formation of a sovereign state Ukraine new government book and reading were removed from the national strategic priorities. And this «deletion» was accompanied by a systematic destruction of the infrastructure elements of the publishing industry, which at the time of Ukraine’s independence, and I’ve already pointed out, had absolutely all the necessary components inherent cultural industry European level. It began with the liquidation and privatization of enterprises «Ukrknyha» and elimination (read – sales) of more than a thousand retail and wholesale book trade and the destruction of the whole system of delivery books to the remotest parts of Ukraine. The next steps were: – legal equating bookstores by renting space in a building of state or municipal property to entities other areas of business ranging from selling food and alcohol and ending banking, which greatly accclerated the eviction of the bookshops premises where they were during the 40-70 year together and termination of their existence;
— eprivation publishing any tax benefits and equating function of the intellectual products, which is the book to a standard pair of shoes;
— sharp decline, and in some years even termination of funding libraries to replenish and upgrade their assets;
— significant reduction budget funding of textbooks for secondary school and its actual cessation programs for publishing scientific literature and textbooks for universities and vocational schools;
— curtailment of radio programs, television series of programs and categories in periodical media, reflecting an important role books and reading for personal development and the state. So book and reading as a process of development the new knowledge and the enhancement of the individual caught up in a remote information blockade. All this and a number of small «experiments» for the purpose of search options for ensuring the country’s economy without books and reading and led to such a sad result.
— However, as far as knew, Ukrainian publishers have tax benefits for a long time and have not to pay value added tax and income tax. Is the availability of tax benefits did not become a factor that allowed actively begin to develop publishing and finally help to get out of the crisis pits?
Oleksandr Afonin «1 will not abnegate. Tax incentives do exist from middle 2001 to the present time. However, you should pay attention to such things. In the Russian Federation law on tax incentives for business publishing was enacted in 1996. And in the five years that have passed between the onset of action of Russian law and onset of action grace Ukrainian law for Publishers Ukraine was actually «occupied» cheap Russian, mainly entertainment and books. The presence of Ukrainian books at the end of 1990 was about 5%.
5-3In 1999 Ukraine reached «statistical bottom» in the production of books per resident per year in the country of 0.4 books. This was the lowest index since the middle of 20-ies of XX century. That publishing industry was already half dead. Tax crcdits became not an incentive to quickly catch up the lost industry over the past decade, served only as a kind of «life jacket», which did not allow Ukrainian book disappear generally. However, it should be noted that the regime of tax exemptions allowed to survive the industry and even to increase the number of titles compared to unsubsidized period, more than three times, however, with an average circulation of each title was reduced to two thousand copies. The reason of this phenomenon remains the same – the lack, until recently, the state set of actions that would have turned the book status strategic product for the country, but book and reading culture in society. – Taking into account the description of the Ukrainian book publishing business, which gave Oleksandr Afonin, whose competence is not in doubt, we can conclude that it really is in deep crisis and increasingly less impact on the spiritual, cultural and intellectual development of modern Ukrainian, and hence on prospects for the country to embark on a par with its economic, technical development of the civilized nations of Europe and the world. Is the situation so neglect, that leaves us no hope for a positive exit from it?
Oleksandr Afonin «No, there is hope! This year, thanks to the joint efforts of State Committee of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Culture and Spirituality, Ukrainian Association of Publishers and Booksellers failed to induce the authorities to the adoption of a number of documents that provide doth already mentioned set of actions aimed at returning the book as inherent one of the main instruments for the creation of people, and therefore the state, and the return of reading culture in society. These documents Decree of the President of Ukraine «On some measures of state support of book publishing and promotion of reading in Ukraine» dated 19 June 2013, approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Conception of the national cultural program popularize national book production and reading in the years 2014-2018, which is currently being prepared by the program itself, recommendations of the parliamentary hearings «Problems of Ukrainian book publishing, bookselling and support reading books in Ukraine.» All this gives hope that the introduction of the provisions of these documents will stop publishing a permanent crisis in Ukraine and in the end make a convincing step towards returning lost position and influence on the development of human socicty and the state.»
We hope, that the fate of long-Ukrainian books on this end. The government will help not only by tax benefits that are hard struggle still won the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Ukraine, headed by Oleksandr Afonin but also create favorable conditions for the publishing industry and will be more interested in shaping the thinking of the nation, and we are Ukrainian, will read read and read again!

Material prepared by Nadia Mandzyuk

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