At StoryCorps, we’re used to hearing tales of love. But here’s one of a different sort: a love letter to the written word.

Meet Alagappa Rammohan, who has amassed enough books over the course of his life to fill a small library (10,000, to be exact).

Rammohan immigrated from India to the United States in 1962. He came to StoryCorps in Chicago with his daughter, Paru Venkat, who as a child witnessed his love of books.


Continuing his lifelong love of books and learning, Rammohan plans to donate all 10,000 of his books to a learning center and library he’s founded in his hometown in India.

Top photo: Paru Venkat and Alagappa Rammohan pose after their StoryCorps interview in Chicago on June 23, 2018. By Eliza Lambert for StoryCorps.
Bottom photo: Alagappa Rammohan poses at the site of the ancient Great Library at Alexandria (350 B.C. – 280 B.C.) in Alexandria, Egypt in 2013. Courtesy Alagappa Rammohan.

Originally aired January 4, 2019, on NPR’s Morning Edition.