The Moscow House of Books is more than half a century old. The favorite hangout of the literati in Soviet time, the bookstore has grown integral to the architectural terrain of New Arbat. In 1998, the original two-story House of Books became the parent of a sprawling chain with bookstores all over Moscow. The store at New Arbat carries over 200,000 titles, from world literature classics to schoolbooks, and sees nearly seven million shoppers every year. The second floor, fully dedicated to fiction and academic non-fiction, is split into subject sections, but no shelf is as packed or as formidable as the foreign languages shelf. The second floor also houses a small café and an art club where book presentations and literary talks frequently take place, and the Literary Theater company gives performances a few times a year. The first floor is reserved for children's books, stationery, hobby and DIY supplies, board games, and a decent selection of music CDs.
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