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January 15, 2012 1:28 PM   Subscribe

This should be simple enough: where can a US resident find a good selection of books in Ukrainian?

Here are some sources I've been able to find, with pros and cons. Can you think of others I haven't listed that maximize the pros and minimize the cons?

As a benchmark, let's take the ability to purchase a volume of collected Shevchenko, the founding figure in Ukrainian letters.
  • and similar Russian online booksellers
    • Pro: Practically everything you can think of can be had.
    • Con: Shipping costs $30-$50 and takes several months. Russian law doesn't permit books more than 50 years old to be shipped abroad.
    • I can has Shevchenko: In spades, lots of attractive editions in a range of quality.
  • and similar book importers that cater to the Russian-speaking emigrĂ© community
    • Pro: Easy to shop; cheap, fast shipping.
    • Cons: Ukrainian selection is spotty, limited to recently published stuff.
    • I can has Shevchenko: No.
  • and similar booksellers that cater to the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada
    • Pros: Broad and often specialized selection; stock is largely made up of used books apparently culled from estate sales and donations.
    • Cons: Shipping from Canada (albeit not as bad as shipping from Russia); selection is essentially random and doesn't reflect popular interest at all.
    • I can has Shevchenko: Some 40 items on Shevchenko studies, but only one actually by him.
  •, a landmark bookstore specializing in foreign language books
    • Pros: Located in the US.
    • Cons: Redesigned site makes it impossible to browse books in anything but French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Slavic selection very poorly cataloged and essentially useless.
    • I can has Shevchenko: Maybe? There is one search result, but it has no picture or any other information.
  •,,,, etc.
    • Pro: Relative ease of shopping.
    • Con: Garbled and incorrect item descriptions; random selection; apparently random pricing.
    • I can has Shevchenko: If you're lucky.
  • There used to be another option, but then this happened.
Thanks for any suggestions.
posted by Nomyte to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
While this is a single link for one book, I would presume most of the links/places selling hers, also deal in other Ukrainian books.
posted by timsteil at 2:23 PM on January 15, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks! From the list you supplied, it looks like comes the closest to what I'm looking for. There are five editions of Shevchenko in stock, including this handsome volume. I'm also really curious about this pretty LotR omnibus.
posted by Nomyte at 2:45 PM on January 15, 2012

Response by poster: Of possible use to other readers: a short summary of the remaining sites mentioned in timsteil's link.

The Ukrainian Museum (New York, NY): offers a selection of art books, exhibit catalogs, children's picture books, and a small handful of books about Ukraine and Ukrainians.

Ukrainian Institute of America (New York, NY): offers a small set of books about Ukraine.

US-Ukraine Foundation (Washington, D.C.): publishes a business journal and several newsletters, gift shop site under construction.

Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine (Washington, D.C.): does not offer book-related resources online.

The Ukrainian Museum (Cleveland, OH): offers egg craft supplies, a few art books, and art prints.

Ohio Export Corp. (Cleveland, OH): offers parcel services to Ukraine, as well as Ukrainian newspapers, postcards, wines, and imported snacks.

Ukrainian National Museum (Chicago, IL): does not do business online.

The Menil Collection (Houston, Texas): does not specialize in Ukrainian art, but may incidentally offer works on Ukrainian artists.

River Oaks Bookstore (Houston, Texas): does not specialize in Ukrainian-language books, has a very minimal online presence.

Brazos Bookstore (Houston, Texas): may carry books on Ukraine-related subjects incidentally.

West Arka Bookstore (Toronto, ON): no longer has a website, may no longer be in business.

Ukrainian Bookstore (Edmonton, Canada): mentioned above, has a wide selection of used books on specialized subjects (historical biography, ethnography, etc.).

Yevshan: an online store offering a reasonable selection of books in Ukrainian.
posted by Nomyte at 7:28 PM on January 15, 2012

You've got the links you need, but just as confirmation, I've had really good luck with Yevshan and special ordering through the Ukrainian Museum and Surma (ukrainaian specialty store in NYC)

Also reading Harry Potter in Ukrainian is a real trip. I assume LOTR is just as awesome/weird.
posted by larthegreat at 8:41 PM on January 15, 2012

Schoenhof's has very good customer service on the phone, so I would suggest calling them. I hate their website, too, but fortunately I live up the street.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:01 PM on January 16, 2012

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