Yu Qiuyu on the hardships of reading

From Yu Qiuyu's blog:

Our elders did not have an easy time finding books. So-called "literary families" usually had just a few trunks of books, and the majority of those were thread-bound: the total word count was far below what several trunks could hold today.

My ancestors could be called intellectuals; by my father's generation, practically all of this had landed on the head of my uncle Yu Zhiyun. He read both Chinese and English and had a fine hand for calligraphy and painting, but he died unexpectedly of tuberculosis before he turned thirty. My father said that if Uncle's tuberculosis had arrives a few years later, there would have been drugs for it, effective ones, but he couldn't wait. He left behind two trunks of books, that erudite scholar, and I carefully read them all. You could even say that they were my childhood treasury that I flipped through every day. Historical Records, Story of a Stone, Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting, Lin Yu-tang's English-Chinese Dictionary, Selected Masterpieces of World Literature edited by Gao Yuhan, and a large number of calligraphic pieces by Yan Zhenqing and Liu Gongquan. During the calamitous Japanese bombing of the Shanghai Incident, my father and uncle carried those two trunks from one part of Shanghai to another. More important than food or clothing, they traveled by train, by boat, and by shoulder through innumerable hardships until they had escaped to their hometown. Then the Japanese occupied their hometown and the family had nowhere to flee to, so they could only wait it out with the trunks, wait for victory in the War of Resistance. And then, wait for me to be born.

Earlier: Yu Qiuyu on the folly of reading.

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Comments on Yu Qiuyu on the hardships of reading

I'd like to thank Mr. Yu for sharing his opinion on reading garbages. Would he kindly comment on writing them?

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