That’s me in the picture, standing in the library of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Leiden University, where I studied Chinese for 4 years, before heading out West. And what is that I’m pointing at, you ask? Why yes, it’s our very own Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, published in 2009! It had been nearly 2 years since I last visited the library, and even more years have passed since I actually spent many a waking hour in that place. It was, and still is, one of the nicest libraries I know. The fact that it specializes in East Asian (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) sources, has several comfortable couches, and is the place where I met my boyfriend (yep, we are nerds and proud of it!), may have something to do with that. Even though the library has changed quite a lot since I left, returning there always feels a bit like coming home. So when I visited the library recently, I made my rounds, reminiscing about the old days, and breathing in the air of education and knowledge. As I turned to go, I unconsciously scanned the shelves of reference works next to the exit, until my eye suddenly fell on a very familiar spine: there it was, the Berkshire Encyclopedia of China! Right there, in my own library, my own book! Well, technically speaking not really my library, or my book, but that was certainly how it felt! It is great to see that our products are available in libraries around the world, especially this library. For me personally, finding the Encyclopedia here, brought together the past and the present. It gave me a feeling of reassurance and continuity, something I can really use in this period of transition and change, a feeling of pride to be working with the people that created the Encyclopedia, and a feeling of excitement to one day see a book on that shelve that I myself helped to create.
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