The pandemic has affected the entire publishing sector, “but the book and its world have, throughout history, overcome worse challenges: censorship, bans, confiscations, and burning,” President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said while inaugurating the 18th International Book Fair in Thessaloniki on Thursday.
Sakellaropoulou expressed her affection for the city of her birth, and referred to the opportunity to attend the fair the best gift on her name day. She also noted that despite the changes brought to the publishing sector by the Internet and the rise in popularity of audio books, podcasts and online book presentations, “the majority of readers in the world and in Greece remain focused on paper.” The president also referred to this year’s honoree, German literature, saying that “Germany gave us great classic writers.”
Statements were also made by Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF-HELEXPO) officials and book representatives, as well as several German officials, including Deputy Foreign Minister for International Policiy on Culture Michelle Müntefering, director of the International Book Fair of Frankfurt Juergen Boos and general director of Goethe Institue of Athens and Southeastern Europe Angela Kaya. In addition, president of the International Publishers Association Bodour Al Qasimi spoke at the event, which is under the auspices of the Greek Presidency.