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Juergen Boos, Director of Frankfurter Buchmesse

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Picture: © Jonas Ratermann

Audioscript Juergen Boos

About seven years ago, I was in Oslo at a reception in honour of the host country Norway. The Norwegian author Erik Fosnes Hansen gave a speech on “What is and what makes Frankfurter Buchmesse?” His first sentence was, "It's a terrible place, especially as an author. After a short time, you realise that you are not the centre of the world, but that your book is one among 400,000 new publications. But still, I've been coming to Frankfurt since 1986.” It is the gateway to the literary world. And I, Juergen Boos, look forward to Erik Fosnes Hansen every year.

I myself came to Frankfurt for the first time in 1975 with my bookseller uncle. And I didn't feel the same way as Erik. I walked right through that gate, and I found my way into the international publishing world. I kept coming back, as an apprentice bookseller, as a student, as a bookseller, as a publisher. And now I have arrived at my vocation. No nights in the bathtub in Sachsenhausen have stopped me. I got married during the book fair week, all my friends were in Germany at the time. So it's not a terrible place here, it's the most beautiful place in the world for me.