"To stop reading books means to stop thinking," the words of the great Dostoevsky, which are the motto of the Square of the Book, have perhaps more fateful significance today than ever before. We live in a time of digitalization and fast data transfer, which allows us to get a wealth of useful information that seems to be less understood and applied because our vision is blurred by transient values and the unbearable speed with which we live today.
The knowledge gained over thousands of years is available to us more easily than ever in human history, but there are fewer and fewer of those focused on searching for it. That's why books are important. Books penetrate deep beneath the surface, asking us to rethink the world and ourselves, to know, understand and accept the other and the different. Through books, we learn life. Because of all that, it is a great pleasure for me that a book gathered us at Belavista this year as well. The International Book Square Fair has been persevering for almost two decades in the mission to promote the value of the written word in Herceg Novi, a city that many great writers have called home and inspiration.
The City Library and Reading Room and the Secretariat for Culture and Education of the Municipality of Herceg Novi made an effort, both this year and last year, in the midst of a pandemic, to prepare a high quality program for the public of all generation. In addition to the contents dedicated to the greats of world literature and contemporary writers, it is also important that a special place at the Fair is occupied by children's and Boka editions. I believe you will agree, in the most difficult times, we must all together preserve culture, nurture it and invest in it. The culture, as well as the culture of reading books, is our reflection - if we allow ourselves to ignore it, no matter what plague befalls us, we will sin against ourselves and those who will come after us. I want you to enjoy the Book Square and to meet here next year, when this event celebrates its jubilee - 20 years of existence. "