Newsletter May 16

Bucharest, Romania

5 questions to Ovidiu Enculescu, RAO Books, Bucharest

1. Ovidiu, for this year’s summer meeting we followed your proposal and will come to your hometown Bucharest. What is your personal highlight and what shouldn’t we miss or better, what will you show us when we will be there in summer?

Any place in the world has a special charm. Depending on the special meanings, on the moment, on the people you share this moment and place with and, of course depending on the readiness and openness you have, this charm could get a higher or lower significance, will stick to your memory for ever or will be instantly forgotten.
Bucharest, my hometown, is no exception and on my side I will try to make it a place to remember.
Together with Barbara we fixed a program of visits that will show you glimpses of Bucharest in the short amount of time. All the things that have been chosen to do or to see are among my personal highlights but, unfortunately, many more are left for the next Motovun Group meeting in Bucharest – some 10-20-30-40 … years in the future! Or, will be left for some private or business visits you may decide to plan if your experience this year was satisfactory.

2. Your publishing group is one of the biggest in Romania. You have founded RAO in 1993, in still post-communist times. Why did you become a publisher then?

I became a publisher in February 1990 by establishing another company together with some friends and colleagues, all of us being geological engineers. That beginning happened entirely by chance. We had to learn everything – from what is a private company to what is a publishing house. Capitalism was new and publishing activity was new. In 1993 I decided to separate from them and to create something new together with my wife Anca. A family business which is now known under the name of RAO.

3. Did political censorship influence your publishing activities or your authors at any time?

Yes, definitely! The whole new beginning in 1990 was somewhat based on the total censorship run by the previous communist regime. Almost everything before 1990 had been subject to a tight political supervision/censorship. There is no other way to explain the explosion in demand for books during that time in the nineties. Unfortunately, this demand for books gradually decreased. There has been no attempt from anyone since to impose any control on the book publishers here… At least none that I’m aware of!

4. Today Romania is a member of the EU. You and your wife Anca travel to numerous book fairs, where Romania impressively demonstrates the publishing business of the country. Is there a ‘headline’ above all Romanian publishing houses or are they all focused on different subjects?

I like to believe that we, the Romanian publishers, are no different than any other publishers in the world. Therefore I don’t think that there is a ‘headline’ above our head, just like there is no ‘headline’ above the French, German Spanish, British, American or you name it publisher in the world. We just do our job in the same way. Perhaps there is a little something extra that makes a difference with us – the Romanian publishers – but it is not ‘above’ but ‘within’. Or so I think!

5. What was/is the most successful book, which you have published so far? And how would your ‘dream’ book look like, if you could choose the author, the designer, the photographer and money wouldn’t be important?

All the more than 10000 titles published so far were exceptional. Don’t ask me to choose the perfect kid from the lot, please! All are mine and all have been successful! (If the money does not play a role!)

Datenschutzerklärung lesen