I wonder if someone could help me decide on the appropriate/best sentence..
I was first writing the sentence like this
"Before I read my retraction, I'd like to emphasize that...."
but then began to have doubts, and changed it to
"Before reading my retraction, I'd like to emphasize that..."
PS:I discovered your page recently and will be reading all the lessons asap, Great help already with neither/either..and who/whom... LOL
Both are absolutely fine.
(To me, it looks like something you're going to say before you read your retraction out loud. If this is the case, both are good.)