Five Minutes with John Grech

Five Minutes with John Grech

John Grech is the manager of the National Book Council (NBC).

Previously he worked as a teacher of English, a bank clerk and a tutor for autistic children. He has been working at the NBC for two years.

Besides his job at the NBC he also works as a part-time lecturer of Ancient Greek at Malta University and in his free time he pursues his many passions, which include painting, reading and jazz.


What was the last book you read?

Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology by W.J.T Mitchell.

How did you buy it?

I came across the book at the AUC stand at the Cairo Book Fair.

And what did you read it on?

Hard copy.

What’s next on your reading list?

Che cos’è la teoria della letteratura by Giovanni Bottiroli.

Which writer would you have loved to have met and why?

Probably, Aleksander Pushkin. Just to experience the legendary charisma of the personality and to check whether he really looked more Ethiopian than Russian.

What is the one thing about your company that we need to know?

We strive to extend the readership of Maltese literature beyond our shores.

How does social media aid the publishing industry?

Mainly in the promotion of events and publications. We make extensive use of Facebook even for the purpose of keeping our followers updated on our TV productions, contests, etc.

Which great novel have you tried to read but failed?

Finnegan’s wake. However, I managed to finish Anthony Burgess’s ‘abridged’ version.

Tell us about a passion you have outside the business.

Chess. I used to play with a team in the Czech Republic and had the honour of beating two local grandmasters.

Who has been your greatest inspiration and why?

Richard Feynman, the physicist. Besides his genius, I have always been impressed by his deep sense of humanity and by his disarming honesty.


The National Book Council is sponsoring the Poetry programme at The London Book Fair 2018. View the 2018 Poetry seminars here.