FOREIGN-LANGUAGE BOOKS A PRECIOUS COMMODITY
The Arizona Republic
April 18, 2007
Author: Courtney Sargent, The Arizona Republic Estimated printed pages: 2
The family owned foreign-language bookstore My Precious Language opened its
doors six months ago and has already added many new languages to its book
My Precious Language in Phoenix has 1,200 books in 13 languages including
French, Spanish, German, Russian, Polish and their most recent addition,
"We are a specialty bookstore that is trying to tailor to the customer,"
said Tony Wisowaty, who like his wife, Rita, always wanted to own a bookstore.
"I could never find German books in an American bookstore" said Rita, whose
first language is German.
After hearing numerous stories about people losing a language they had grown up
with or learned, the Wisowatys were inspired to open My Precious Language.
So far, customers have been impressed with the selection of books and service at
"The selection is classy, and the availability of books in so many unusual
languages is exciting," said Joyce Story, a Russian teacher at Glendale
Community College who has recommended the store to her students.
If anyone visits the bookstore and does not see the book or language they are
looking for, Tony and Rita will find it.
"What we are trying to do is preserve a language and keep it going," Tony said.
The Wisowatys have traveled widely and have a deep understanding and
appreciation for other cultures.
Story shares the Wisowatys passion for language.
"I believe that interest in and appreciation for languages other than English is
of crucial importance for the United States," Story said.
The international bookstore carries mostly new books but there is a selection of
used books in English, French and German. Children's books are available in
Arabic, Czech and German. Many of the books are imported from overseas or come
from wholesalers on the East Coast. The Wisowatys also sell DVDs and CDs that
can be put in a customized gift baskets with 100 percent beeswax candles,
imported polish ceramics and amber jewelry.
The books are organized into languages on the cherry wood bookshelves and flags
indicate each section. In the middle of the store are tables and chairs where
customers can enjoy a book.
"We hope the store is a stress-free environment for the customer," Rita said.
Even though so much is available on the Internet, the Wisowatys are not
concerned because their bookstore offers something the Internet cannot, they
"You can hold the books in your hands. You can see precisely what you are
getting," Story said about why she prefers purchasing books at My Precious
Language instead online.
My Precious Language
Where: 6522 N. 16th St., No. 9.
Store hours: 10-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10-5 p.m. Saturdays.
Information: (602) 388-4124, www.mypreciouslanguage.com.
Among languages: Croatian, Czech, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian and
CAPTION: Tony and Rita Wisowaty own the foreign-language bookstore My Precious
Language, which sells books in 13 languages.
Edition: Final Chaser
Section: Northeast Phoenix Republic