[Weekender] Book lovers’ paradise

By Kim Da-sol
  • Published : Nov 10, 2017 - 17:01
  • Updated : Nov 10, 2017 - 17:01

With the popularity of book clubs and independent bookstores here, libraries and stores are offering seminars, lectures and even drinks inspired by novels, taking the literary experience to a new level. Here are some of the best spots for bookworms to explore the literary world in Korea.

Starfield Library
Located inside Starfield Coex Mall in Gangnam

The 2,800-square-meter library, which opened in May, features some 50,000 books on towering two-story bookshelves. It is located at the center of the underground shopping mall. Visitors can browse, read and search for books via kiosks in the open library area. They are also allowed to eat here. Book concerts and lectures by writers are held for free on a regular basis.

Book Park
Located inside Blue Square in Yongsan

Book Park, which has a photogenic 24-meter-high bookshelf, is best known as a good spot for dates in the Itaewon area.
Operated by the e-commerce company Interpark, the space aims to provide the experience of resting at a park surrounded by books.
Spanning over 1,900 square meters, Book Park runs regular seminars and talk sessions led by world-renowned scholars like Richard Dickinson and David Christian. Approximately half of the books here focus on science and art.
Since its opening in October last year, at least 19,000 people visit the place daily.

Eternal Journey
Located inside the five-star Hilton Hotel Busan, Gijang

Eternal Journey is the latest bookshop to open its doors in Busan, offering a seaside view through its large windows.
“It is a place where customers can experience a range of cultural content and identify their interests,” said Tak Ji-young, a communications manager at Emerson Pacific Group, which created the bookstore. “Our goal is to inspire those who haven’t read a single book for the past year to buy one.”
This lavish lifestyle shop not only offers a wide selection of books in Korean and English, but also offers a host of other goodies for the discerning traveler. The books here -- mostly liberal arts publications -- are categorized into 50 different themes.

Choi In-ah Bookstore
Located in Gangnam

Choi In-ah, a veteran copywriter, opened a bookstore named after herself in 2016, after leaving her 20-year career behind.
Choi recommends and curates book-related programs and hosts a wide-range of events including readings by authors, seminars and concerts.
The store occupies the top three floors of a building in the middle of Yeoksam-dong. There are 12 different categories of books.
“If somebody is interested in novels, there is a dedicated spot where he or she can walk in and browse fiction,” Choi said.
Choi plans to create a membership-only section by the month’s end. Members will be able to quietly enjoy reading with complimentary drinks or snacks.

Chaeg Bar
Located in Yeonhui-dong

If you’re looking for some mimosas with your Murakami, Chaeg Bar has got you covered. This tiny shop in the trendiest part of Yeonhui-dong offers an eclectic selection of books, a friendly owner, and late hours, as it opens until midnight. The bar in the back is just a bonus.
This book-themed bar provides booze that appears in books, such as the Absinthe from Osamu Dazai’s novel “No Longer Human.”
Chung In-sung, who opened the place in 2015, said it was a place for those who want to come alone, sit on a couch, read and have a drink before heading back home after work. “I want visitors to feel as if they themselves are characters in novels.”
Visitors can also buy or borrow books donated by other customers. 

By Kim Da-sol (