Ignacio Buqueras, honorary president of the Spanish Independent Foundation and regular collaborator of the Royal European Academy of Doctors-Barcelona 1914 (RAED), opened last Thursday, September 25, the first of the days of promotion of reading that drives the Foundation under the aegis of the Reading Promotion Plan of the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sports. This first session was held at the Spanish National Library under the title “Paladines del libro. A favor de la lectura: bibliotecas y librerías” (Paladins of the book, in favour of reading: libraries and bookstores). It will be the first of five major events that aim to promote reading at all levels and that have the support of the McGraw Hill Education publishing house.
Aldo Olcese, president of the Independent Foundation and full academician elected of the RAED; Ana Santos, director of the National Library; the writers Javier Lostalé and Fernando Sánchez Dragó, both awarded with the National Prize for the Promotion of Reading, and the editor Beatriz de Moura, founder of Tusquets, participated in the session. “We want to generate a public awareness of the book as a creative product, knowledge and enjoyment, in addition to enhancing the role of public libraries and bookstores as essential elements of cultural dynamization and programming”, said Olcese.
Lostalé opened his speech stating that “reading is the best antidote against pride and vanity”. He also assured with optimism that there is a return to the libraries. “Public libraries, according to the latest data, are once again visited by young people, to study and to take copies for reading”, he said. Beatriz de Moura, for her part, said that “the only place where I found peace for the first time was in a book”. The director of the National Library thanked her for her recent donation of the Tusquets editorial archive.
For Sanchez Dragó, “who doesn’t love reading in childhood or adolescence will never take a fancy”, he said, speaking of his love for books since his childhood, a passion that continues to feed: “I read about 500 books a year, one and a half a day”, he said. Olcese closed the day by summoning all attendees to the next table, “La belleza del libro en su edición” (The beauty of the book in its edition), which will be held on October 8 also at the National Library.