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!