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Rosa Montero: Stopping Reading Is ‘like Living in a World Without Oxygen’

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The Spanish writer Rosa Montero defended this Tuesday, April 5, that reading is “the great talisman of life” and that stopping reading is “like living in a world without oxygen”, during her speech at a literary congress in Puerto Rico.

“Truly for me , reading is a great magic, it is the great talisman of life, I have always thought that when I am reading, if I have a book, nothing bad can happen to me”, assured the author of ‘The daughter of the cannibal’, ‘Tears in the rain’ and ‘Good luck’, among others.

Montero explained at the International Congress of Writers of Puerto Rico, inaugurated this Tuesday in the city of Caguas, that reading has served him for “many terrifying hospital waits” for loved ones.

She also confessed that in her entire life she was only able to read during the first 15 days of the pandemic confinement, something that in her opinion happened to many people because the arrival of covid-19 was “a shock”.

In her dialogue with the Puerto Rican Mayra Montero, entitled ‘Literary complicities’, the Spanish writer affirmed that most authors, if they have to choose between writing or reading, opt for the latter.

“It’s a catastrophe to stop writing but to stop reading is like living in a world without oxygen,” added Montero, who recently published ‘The danger of being sane’.

In this line, the writer, honorary doctorate from the University of Puerto Rico and awarded in 2017 in Spain with the National Prize for Letters, indicated: “Reading saves us.”

“I think that those of us who passionately need that pile of words from the books is because we are close to the earthquake, we are much closer to the abyss and the shadow and we need to put that bridge of words over the hole and the darkness”, he asserted.

Montero was signing books and tomorrow she will present ‘The danger of being sane’ and give the conference ‘The writer’s kitchen: how a book is born’.

Other conferences on this first day of the congress were ‘The imaginary of the skin – How to write from these times of race’, by Mayra Santos Febres; ‘History and private lives in the novel’, by the Cuban Karla Suárez; and ‘Narrating the dark side’, by Pilar Quintana.

Also participating in the congress are the Spanish Chiki Fabregat, the Dominican Pedro Antonio Valdez, the Mexican Guillermo Federico Arriaga Jordán and the Peruvian Iván Thays, as well as numerous prestigious Puerto Rican authors.


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