Biblioteka Dlya Chteniya
1834 title page
|Based in||Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire|
Biblioteka Dlya Chteniya (Russian: Библиоте́ка для чте́ния, English: The Reader's Library) was a Russian monthly magazine founded in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire, in 1834 by Alexander Smirdin.
The magazine "of literature, sciences, arts, industry, current news and fashion" was founded in 1834 by publisher and trader Alexander Filippovich Smirdin who invited Osip Senkovsky, the professor of Saint Petersburg University to edit it, giving him an unusually high salary of 15 thousand rubles a year. For the first time in the history of Russian journalism Smirdin maintained the distinction between publisher and editor and fixed royalties schedule (200 rubles per list a minimum, 1000 rubles for famous authors). The sleeve featured a list of sixty authors whose literary and scientific works the journal planned to publish and the agreement to feature in this list was paid for too. It was the first ever best-selling magazine in the Russian history, aimed at the wide middle-class readership, not just the intellectual elite.
The magazine was coming out exactly on the first day of each month. Among the regular sections were: Russian Literature, Foreign Literature, Science and Arts, Industry and Agriculture, Criticism, History of Literature and Miscellaneous. Each issue featured the illustrated report on latest fashions. After the 2nd year the magazine had 5 thousand subscribers, two years later - 7 thousand. The subscription price was not high: 50 rubles per year.
The 1830s were the golden age of Biblioteka Dlya Chteniya which in its first two years of existence featured works by Alexander Pushkin. In the 1840s a strong rival appeared, Andrey Krayevsky's Otechestvennye Zapiski. This and also the change of things in Russian social life and journalism caused the BDC’s decline. By 1847, when it had just 3 thousand subscribers, Smirdin got broke and in 1858 the magazine became the property of V.P.Pechatkin, the book trader who invited A.V.Starchevsky to become its co-editor. In the late 1856 Alexander Druzhinin became its editor, to be joined by Alexei Pisemsky. As Druzhinin retired due to poor health, Pisemsky in November 1860 became its editor-in-chief. He left the magazine in 1863 to be replaced by Pyotr Boborykin and N. N. Voskoboynikov. In April 1865 Biblioteka Dlya Chteniya was closed.