Think 6.5 % unemployment and the crash of consumer spending is tough? Try facing off against the Evil Empire.
The Moscow Times discusses the 50-year history of Moscow’s own Moskva bookstore in this profile:
Ivanovich remembers how as a child he would walk an hour and a half
with his parents to get to the Moskva. "Looking back, it seems to me
that they had everything — though, of course, I know they did not."
In those times, books were a deficit product — customers were
restricted to buying one book when the shop opened — and there was a
great thirst for reading.
"To subscribe to [an author's] collected works, people would stand
all night," said Marina Kamenev, the director of the store, in an
interview with Vremya Novostei newspaper. Mounted police would keep
order by the entrance.
"We, the store’s staff, could hold the deficit books which we dreamed
about in our hands, but we couldn’t even look at them, let alone buy
them," she said. "Everything was very strict.
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