FOOD FOR THOUGHT BLOG | A Corner of My Own, by Pat Tsang

Jun 10, 2023

FOOD FOR THOUGHT BLOG | A Corner of My Own, by Pat Tsang

“Whoa! Again here is a library,” I exclaimed. “How lucky I am, there is always a library
near me.”

Library in the UK

I was so excited to see one, and couldn’t stop myself going inside to have a look.
Needless to say, libraries are often close to Town Halls in England. The one in my town
is no exception. It is a two-storey building, built of red bricks. It is very English, isn’t it?
I have recently moved into this community, and was thinking if I could make some new
friends here. One day, I found that there was a Reading Club being held once a month
in the library. So, I went into the red-brick building again, and asked a librarian about it.
“Could you tell me which book is going to be discussed in the next meeting?” I said.
After I got the answer, I started to look around. The Library was unlike the ones in
Hong Kong. It was quiet and there were no pupils studying there. (I used to spend
many long days in the library revising for examinations when I was in secondary school.
It is a common thing that HK pupils do because our homes are often too small to give us
a quiet corner to study)

The red-brick library reminds me of the first library in my life. It was in a small town in
the countryside of HK. I suppose the design of these two buildings looked alike,
especially the staircases, only this one was in white colour. (As you may know, HK was
a British colony before 1997). This two-storey building was located in the town centre.
Needless to say, it was without air-conditioning in the 70s. Although it only had very
basic facilities such as ceiling fans, and a small number of books, it was satisfying for a
primary pupil like me to spend a summer holiday there. I have already forgotten what I
read in that summer, but I have not forgotten being told to keep quiet all time.

Library in Hong Kong

Along with the growth of the economy of HK from the 1990s, HK libraries have become
more modern with sophisticated facilities (like air-conditioning and computers), and a
large variety of books. I was very lucky that there was a library close to me again in the
town that I moved to after I grew up. Going to libraries was my regular event during
weekends. I borrowed and read tons of books in those days. You will never be lonely
when there is a library close to you.

Besides, libraries also remind me of the time when I was studying in Japan. That
library was close to the church that I went to every Sunday. I often went there after Sunday service. It was a central library. Though it was spacious; more bigger than the
ones in HK; but it had fewer books. Luckily, there were some Chinese books and
magazines. By seeing them on the bookshelves, it made me feel like I was at “home” –
the libraries in HK; by borrowing the bookings, it eased my lonely heart. (you can
imagine how lonely it was before a convenient internet was there for quick access to the

It is said in Chinese “書中自有黃金屋” which can be literally translated to “a book holds
a house of gold”. It means that “wealth of knowledge found in books can be as valuable
as gold.” Then, I think “a library holds a corner of my own” – the corner where I can find
books to teach me, to heal me, and to let me meet new friends.

With many fond memories that I have associated with libraries, I felt encouraged to walk
in the red-brick building and join the reading club now.

Heart & Parcel