hasta la vista MIR

Yesterday while rummaging through my library I came across a little gem – On the way to Super Elements by G.N. Flerov, A.S .Ilynov – Mir Publishers Moscow. A wonderful book by the now defunct Mir publishers. This is one of the several books from Mir that I have treasured in my library. These books were responsible, in no small part, for my intellectual growth and my affaire d’amour with science books.

But these excellent books however have become an unfortunate casualty of the fall of the former Soviet Union. Not only were the books excellent in themselves but the prices were ridiculously cheap, especially during my college years, when a limited amount of money was fated to satisfy my various youthful desires – at about USD 0.25 you could get a hardcover book of 100 pages with multi-colored graphics.

I used to mostly buy them from the roadside vendors, which there were plenty of in my city. Sprawled across a wide area along the roadside, it was like standing on heavens edge. I still regularly dream about sauntering along a city road when I stumble upon one of the most beautiful visions a book lover can see; a roadside full of Mir books.

I had tried to trace with some book distributors and sellers but save for a couple they are all gone. I’ve also read somewhere that the stock of books had been burnt post the aftermath of the Soviet Union collapse. What a loss! Just in case someone gets to knows any source to buy these books, please let me know.

For some of those who my care, I’m giving a list of Mir titles with me:

1. On the way to Super Elements by G.N. Flerov, A.S .Ilynov
2. The Greatest Speed by S.R. Filonovich
3. Energy and Entropy by G.N. Alekseev
4. All over the Globe by D. Sharle
5. This Amazingly Symmetrical World by L. Tarasov
6. Physics can be Fun by Ya Perelman
7. Photons and Nuclei by A.I. Kitaigorodsky
8. Entertaining Electronics by E. Sedov
9. Orbits of Peace and Progress by P. Popovich

So long Mir!

9 thoughts to “hasta la vista MIR”

  1. I agree. MIR publishers were awesome. Physics can be fun and Mathematics can be fun were responsible for putting me on the science track and were better at explaining things than my school text books. I have been trying to search for books (even second hand) for about 2 years now with no luck. Still, my hope is alive that somewhere someone is willing to part with them.

  2. Hey…… i’v got an idea how to get these books back in the world. I too feel the way u do… maybe more intensely… I really loved MIR books. Do mail me and get in touch…. maybe we can sort out a way to get MIR books back for the world to read…….


  3. Hi,

    I loved MIR publishers and have a lot of good memories of my Junior and High school years reading them. Lately I have ordered some books from site Abebooks.com. Happy again to see some of the old books, bringing back good old memories…Still I can imagine the brand new books and fresh smell of MIR books…. Sad that it is gone…

  4. Since 1980 I am a lover of soviet books. I have a large collection covering all fields. I am especially fond of the illustrations, sc.fi, literature, physics and astronomy. I am tormented by the feeling that I will never find them. So please inform me about their(mir, progress, raduga etc) availability in English.

  5. In India some selected books are available with:

    People’s Publishing House LTD.
    5E, Rani Jhansi Road,
    New Delhi.
    Ph: 23523349, 23529823

  6. Também sinto saudades dos livros das Edições Mir. Eu os conheci quando estava na Faculdade, cursando Engenharia Elétrica. Ainda tenho os livros de física do Landau e Lifshitz (na tradução para o frances, a maioria, e depois, uns poucos, em portugues): comecei a comprá-los em 1969! Ha 40 anos atrás! Achei os livros tão interessantes que acabei comprando um de ensino de russo, “Breve Manual de Lingua Russa”, escrito em portugues, de Nina Potopova (também das edições Mir, é claro.

  7. i am in desperate need of “Entertaining Electronics”
    can u suggest any way to get it Sameer?

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