Junior Win – The Adventure of My Book Reading – I Am Reading Encyclopedia

A Present from My Grandmother When I was 10

(The old copy of The Modern Encyclopedia for Children.)

The old edition of The Modern Encyclopedia for Children (1966) that our grandmother (Khin Myo Chit – writer of Colourful Burma, etc) gave to her twins grandchildren when they were 10. Her own handwriting on the first page brought me back to the memory of our childhood. The book was a huge book, and it seemed difficult for ten-year-old children. But at that time the twins could read this book by the help of their grandparents, and their parents. They taught us how to read the dictionary of Encyclopedia. Our granny showed the pictures inside of the book, and explained everything what we asked. It was a long time ago. We are only 10 when our granny gave this old edition of The Modern Encyclopedia for Children. We kept this book at our library not only as a memory of my grandmother, but also it still needs for the learner.


(It was a huge book, but very interesting to read.)

(Pictures inside still attract me.)

We also have The New Universal Encyclopedia (1950?) in ten volumes from our grandparents. Although those ten volumes were in the old edition, they were very useful until now. When I grew older, I was hungry for new Updated Encyclopedia series. But my parents could not buy them, because they were too expensive for us.

(The old copy of The New Universal Encyclopedia that I have been learning since my childhood.)

In 1980, we received Practical Knowledge For All in 6 volumes from our grandfather (grandpa from my mother’s side). He gave us his books unwillingly, because he valued them very much, and he also wanted to share other grandchildren. I remembered my father begged him to give us his books. Finally, grandpa decided to give us. At that time, my parents also needed them too, because they were writing articles about Science, History, Geography, etc in some magazines in Burma. They received good ideas from those books. There was thousands of information about Agriculture, Art, Politics, etc with various subjects as Mathematics, Biology, History, etc and also with different languages and so on with colorful pictures, and photos.

(Grandpa’s memory. We still use them with great pleasure.)

In 1988, we had a chance to browse books at The International School situated at Insein Road, Kamayut, Rangoon, Burma. Yearly, they sold not only old books, but also other things at reduced prices to public. There my parents found The Home Library Encyclopedia in Ten Volumes of 1970. But one of the volumes, volume 4 – Masterpieces Of The Arts was missing. We were beggars cannot be choosers. Although we wanted to buy the complete set of it, we had no other choice. We hoped we would find the missing volume at the bookshops one day. But it was not easy to find it until then.


(One volume is missing. But all the rest fulfilled our needs of knowledge for many years.)

Whenever we went to the bookshops, and saw Encyclopedia in 23 or 24 volumes, I wished I would buy and keep at our library one day. We could not buy the Encyclopedia until my mother’s friend sold her complete set of old Encyclopedia Britannica (1976) in 23 volumes at the cheaper price to us in 1999. She was a well-educated person. She wanted to sell her Encyclopedia Britannica to a true booklover. For 23 volumes, we had to pay the price of only one. Imagine! How happy we are at that moment!

(The complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica that we keep as our own.)

Since our childhood, we always heard our grandparents talked of rare edition of Encyclopedias, and of ancient poets and their lives. They valued books, and our parents too invested in books for the library. I always was buying books whatever money I earned from my royalty however our country is in the state of poor in books.


I am thinking about the updated Encyclopedia (2015 or 2016) in complete volumes that I still want to buy and keep at our library. I wish I could do one day.



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