Retiree is proud of his collection, which illustrates how China has changed, and likes telling stories about it.
Many of the postcards in Kong's collection commemorate anniversaries of the founding of the People's Republic of China. (Ding Luyang/China Daily)
Retired electrical engineer Kong Xiangming has collected more than 6,000 postcards over the past 48 years that vividly illustrate China's history and radical transformation.
The postcards, the 70-year-old's most prized possessions, feature different themes, including the landscapes of different areas, China's reform and opening-up, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, and anniversaries celebrating the founding of the People's Republic of China.
"I still remember buying the first set of postcards in a bookstore in Changchun in 1971," said Kong, from Changchun, capital of northeastern China's Jilin province. "In fact, before I saw the postcards, which feature the landscapes of Yan'an (in Shaanxi province), I knew little about this postal product.
"As a veteran, I was so excited to see China's revolutionary cradle on the postcards and bought the set without hesitation as well as two other sets featuring Shaoshan (in Hunan province) and Jinggangshan (in Jiangxi province)."
From then on, he began collecting different postcards. At that time, he earned "quite a low salary". He said that he had to try to save money in every way possible to buy the postcards.
Whenever he goes to a new city, Kong visits the local post office to find new postcards.
"Before the 50th anniversary of the founding of New China, a friend in Beijing told me that the themed postcards would be published after the celebration on Oct 1, 1999," he said.
"Unfortunately, the officers at the post office told me the postcards wouldn't be sold in Changchun."
To get the postcards, Kong made a special trip to Beijing soon after the celebration.