I shared the previous post with Ms. Tu - her pictures and what I wrote about her old books.
She responded to me with the sweetest email! I just loved reading her response and how much books mean to her.
Below, I will share part of her response...
"I also would like to share with you that I am lucky to have a father who loves books and he inspires me to love books and reading. He bought me a lot of books since I was four and unable to read. I had my mother read for me until I was six, then I started school to learn how to read.
"I have so many books at home that my friends usually say I have a library at home. Half of them are Vietnamese and from my childhood. Most of those Vietnamese books are from Chinese literature, some translated from Western and the rest are famous novels and stories in Vietnam. Some of them were bought by my father, some I collected since I was in middle school.
"We [used to] have old-book stores in Vietnam, which are very interesting. You can pick up a lot of old books at cheap price. Unfortunately, most of my VN books now are very old and can’t be read any more because of the quality of the paper.
"They are not only books. They are love and memory."
Ms. Tu - thank you for sharing these wonderful thoughts and memories!
Her words remind me of my childhood and memories with books...
My parents are both school teachers (my mom is a Teacher-Librarian!) and we were lucky to always have books in our house. Even though my parents read to me a lot while I was young, I did not learn to read with the other students in my grade… when I went into 2nd grade, I would leave class each day to get reading help from a reading specialist. She changed my life and taught me to not only learn how to read… but to love reading. (I am actually pen pals with this reading teacher! Her and I got in touch with one another a few years ago and I let her know how special she is to me and how she changed my life... teaching me how to read!)
How Ms. Tu said that her collection of books are not only books but… love and memory is what I think too! The opening part of my essay to get into my masters program (for Library and Information Science) was about one of my best memories growing up… meeting my mom and two older brothers every evening on the couch in our living room. We read books every night together… pictures books and chapter books. My mom would change the characters’ names to be mine and my brothers! I just loved it.
Books are an important part of my life… now and from when I was a child. One of my dreams/goals when I buy my own place some day is to have an entire wall of books! ...My own 'library' - just like Ms. Tu. :)