In 2012 the Republic of Armenia will present to the Armenian people and to the world two complementary celebrations, the 500th anniversary of Armenian Printing and Yerevan World Book Capital 2012 (awarded by UNESCO), devoted to the Armenian writing and printing.
The centers of the creation and spread of the Armenian writing expand the geography and engagement of the celebrations. In different countries of the world – Italy, France, Germany, China, the Russian Federation, Holland, Belgium and Romania – there will be various international exhibitions and book fairs. The biggest libraries of the world will have their participation: National Library of St. Marc (Italy), Library of Congress in Washington (USA), the one in Saint Petersburg, Matenadaran – Mashtots Institute of ancient manuscripts (17,000 registered manuscripts) and the National Library of Armenia (with literature in 70 languages).
Since nowadays publishing is also a growing industry, the active participation of Armenian 300 publishing houses, the National Publisher’s Association of Armenia, as well as independent printers and publishers will be included. Over the year the contemporary Armenian literature that has been translated into different European languages, including prose, poetry collections and illustrated albums, will be presented to the literary public.
Those who have written (presentations and events at the house-museums of Armenian writers in Yerevan and regions) and those who write (meetings between Armenian writers and readers, literary discussions and readings) will not be left out.
Libraries and bookstores will be of great importance as bearers of books and their knowledge. Millions of books are still waiting to be read and it’s still too soon to say whether the typical, traditional book will surrender its place. For example, in France, in 2011, the sales volume of electronic books added up to a negligible 1.2 percent of overall book sales.
With the upcoming visit of Nobel Prize winners in literature to Armenia, Yerevan will truly become the book center of the world.