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 selection.

My Precious Language in Phoenix has 1,200 books in 13 languages including French, Spanish, German, Russian, Polish and their most recent addition, Japanese.

"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 store.

"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 said.

"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,

Among languages: Croatian, Czech, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian and Japanese.

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
Page: 18