Great importance has been attached in recent years to promoting reading and publishing new books for children and adolescents. Literature plays an important role in the spiritual development of a personality, formation of independent thinking, preservation of the native language and national values for future generations.
In 2010-2015, Uzbekistan implemented a program on publishing the works that help children and adolescents to achieve the spiritual maturity. Only nine publishers worked in Uzbekistan before independence, while today there are more than a hundred publishing houses that annually release more than 40 million copies of literature of more than 2,000 titles. Their products win prizes at international book fairs in Germany, China, Russia and other countries.
Fairs and exhibitions of domestic publishing houses have become traditional. One of them, the exhibition fair ‘Holiday of Books’ was held last week throughout the country. The visitors learned about the new arrivals of domestic publishing houses, and had a unique opportunity to talk with poets, writers and publishers.
The national program the Year of Mother and Child Health has addressed another very important issue of promoting reading and domestic publishing houses. A network of bookstores Kitob Olami (Book World) with modern service is currently expanding. The visitors are offered a wide range of products, and a chance to sit with friends over a cup of coffee. The first store was opened in the capital to be followed by affiliates in the regions. Branches in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Andijan, Namangan, Ferghana and Samarkand regions have already started working.
Kitob Olami has been cooperating with publishers O’zbekiston, Milliy Encyclopedia, O’qituvchi, Chulpon, Gafur Ghulom publishing houses and other publishing and printing houses. It also established close partnership with more than a hundred small publishers and authors, offering readers high-quality and inexpensive books.
The complex organizes different kinds of actions. ‘Book and school’, ‘Book and crafts’, ‘Book and Sports’ have been particularly popular among the youth. Book fairs have been held in 286 secondary schools, 120 vocational colleges and academic lyceums of the capital.
Educational institutions are provided with book sets, which replenish their library stock. Similar events take place in educational institutions of Tashkent region as well. Book festivals and fairs are scheduled in camps during summer vacations. The children's section is always full of children. The bookshelves present fairy tales in Uzbek, Russian and English languages, coloring books, encyclopedias, gaming publications. There are also tales and literature in Braille for blind children. The wide and bright rooms provide good atmosphere for reading. It has become a tradition to hold charity holidays for children on weekends to promote children's interest in reading.