A book has to live; books contain everything that is necessary for our lives and a fulfilled soul. A book preserves the word.

First comes the word; an image follows, and there is a thought aroused by every image. There are words that trigger an emotional whirl, and yet others that feel empty. If we lose a word, we lose the thought that follows. Having words is what distinguishes us from those who do not think. It is not for nothing that the Bible says: ‘In the beginning was the word.’

The words a book contains are complete, the thoughts one would find in a book are complete – great, philosophical thoughts inhabit books –, and books provide all the answers we need for life.

By preserving Latvian literature, we preserve the words of our nation – the Latvian language, thoughts, culture and Latvian mentality. Whether or not our nation will still exist in 200 years depends highly on literature. Well, I seem to be biased saying this, since I do not speak Latvian – do forgive me my flaw. Nevertheless, we must preserve the land, the culture, the nation we were born into.

Now, let me be very clear about this – the Latvian literature does not need my support. The writers and publishers do not come to me with a stretched out hand. This endeavour in favour of literature is my soul’s calling. One can only support literature if they understand it, and in my case – because I myself need it. To me literature serves as the environment that is needed to maintain the sixth sense, the intuition. I simply love literature – it is an integral part of my life.

Valērijs Belokoņs
A majority shareholder of Baltic International Bank