The Korea Herald


[Eye Plus] At Mugero, used books go for 300 won per 100 grams

By Song Su-hyun

Published : June 27, 2020 - 16:01

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Unlike tech-savvy readers who have jumped over to e-books in the mobile era, there are people who still feel nostalgia for paper books, and some still love going to secondhand bookstores.

One of the biggest draws of visiting a secondhand bookstore is probably the joy of accidentally discovering a rare treasure in the piles of dusty, faded old books, especially one that is out of print. 

At a secondhand bookstore in Gaebong-dong, Guro-gu, Seoul, books are priced by weight.

That’s why the place is called “Mugero,” meaning by weight in Korean.

It is a typical secondhand bookstore, but the unusual thing is that it sells books by weight.

Even if the secondhand book you’ve picked out is a new book, or the work of a popular writer, it still costs just 300 won per 100 grams.

Only the scale can set its price.

It may not be an exaggeration to say that readers can experience equality in the value of books without prejudices about the authors’ names.

Another appealing aspect of shopping at Mugero is exploring the maze of narrow aisles between old smelly books that are stacked on outdated bookshelves with faded notes that define the categories. 

Despite the tiny space, it has all you want: from children’s book collections to martial arts books, romance novels, poetry, essays, dictionaries, reference books and comic books. It’s never boring there.

The best thing is encountering a book that brings up precious memories from long ago. 

During this pandemic, which has already been going on for several months, visiting the used bookstore may bring you a small pleasure as you remember the good old days. 

Written by Song Su-hyun
Photography by Park Hyun-koo