“Dear friends and colleagues.
Most publishers make their living by selling words and I am a publisher, therefore I never miss the opportunity to speak. This is another such opportunity which I will take with pleasure.
When I was a small child, and that is a sort of, once upon a time, the book of Don Quixote was loudly read in schools in Spain. And in this famous story there is a contradiction between reading and not reading. We were told that Don Quixote went mad because of reading! When Cervantes wrote the first part of the book in 1605, reading was not advisable as it could become addictive, bad for your health and sanity, and could even put you at risk of losing your life. And in some occasions this actually happened when people were burnt in their beds as a result of reading by candle light!
Fortunately, years later, prestigious philosophers and also a few politicians, but only a few, came to the conclusion that the insanity or vice of reading is the only way of becoming a full and real human being. And that, I believe, is still valid today.
Therefore for me it was a privilege and honour, thanks to your generosity, to serve the LIBS Committee of the IPA. I want to especially thank those IPA Presidents who were adventurous enough to appoint me to the chair: Andrew Neilly in 1984, and Ana María Cabanellas in 2004; and the ones who re-appointed me: Hermann Spruijt, YS Chi, Richard Charkin and Michiel Kolman. To all of them goes my sincere gratitude for allowing me to deal, worldwide, with the things I like the best, which are, Books and Reading.
And also thank you to all of you, the General Assembly of IPA, for your patience, support and friendship.”
Frankfurt Book Fair. 12 October 2017.