Can you remember the latest memory reading books apart from your major? If you find yourself reading books in the “Recommended Booklists for high school students” grudgingly, it would be the best recommendation to read this article. Here is the best place to motivate you to read a book on yourself, Paju Bookcity. The place is in charge of the entire process of publication from planning to printing. Getting off from the bus heading there, you will see a long line of neat buildings with well-maintained colorful trees. Because Paju Bookcity was departed from the belief that good viewpoints, writing, and design come from a good place which is connected directly with good books, it’s both the city of books and architecture. Also, book-lovers can buy books in discounted price in the entire part of Paju Bookcity thanks to the all process of the publication taking place there.
1. Forest of Wisdom
There are three parts: Forest of Wisdom 1, 2, 3. 1 is comprised of the books donated by domestic scholars, intellectuals and experts. You can read the life of donor through skimming the organized books. Various kinds of books from literature to natural science are arranged according to the donors’ field of study.
2 and 3 of Forest of Wisdom are comprised of donated books by various publishing companies. There are books from publishers which represent our nation. You can take a quick look at the history of Korean publication and publishing companies through the classification by publishers. Books for children are also stocked separately. 2 consists of a large hall with café named Infotech in the center. It is quite noisier than other parts of the library due to the people who are eating something and chatting with others in the café. It’s more like a café than library. 3 is the quietest part of the entire Forest of Wisdom. For the users who visited for the purpose of reading, it would be the best place to do it. Also, it opens 24 hours a day so that you don’t have to be pressed for time.
2. Book café
Discovering the book cafes hidden in the alleys can be another joyful experience. Here is one representative example among them, named Book café Noon, which is from Hyohyung Publication. Before getting into the café, several quotes from books on colorful signboards catch our eyes. Adorable handwriting is also adding its own mood. Opening the door, the tinkling of wind-bell greets you. Freshly baked bread hot from the oven smells warm. Located in front of the Forest of Wisdom, it is one of the most famous book cafes in Paju Bookcity. People are small-talking here and there, not so much to interrupt the reading. I also had a small-talk with the barrister who was enjoying her leisure time due to the empty café.
I: How long have you worked here?
W: It has been about a year and a half.
I: Oh, you’ve worked here quite long. Then, what is the best point working here?
W: I can enjoy my life here. I used to work inside the city before getting a job here. It’s also a city, but you know, now I’m in a bookcity which is full of fresh air and smell of books.
I: Exactly same as what I expected, it looks peaceful here (laughter). Then, any hard points?
W: Not at all, as you might have expected (laughter).
I: I envy you (Smiling). What kinds of customers usually come here? Office workers?
W: Yeah, during the week. There are lots of places of work near here. And residents living in the residential area near here are the regular customers. Some bring cats and dogs, too. During the weekend, it’s mostly tourists. Forest of Wisdom also had been quiet before they rushed in. Adding some seats and children customers coming... it became quite crowded now.
I: Right. Where do you recommend the most in Paju Bookcity?
W: Lots of people visit the Forest of Wisdom as the first place. But my personal recommendation would be looking around the book cafes and bookstores. Not because I’m working in café now (laughter). Discovering the ones that are hiding in the alleys would be a special experience. It would bring you back to a young girl being amused taking the first place in treasure hunting on sports day!
I: Then my next destination would be the bookstore facing here! You must have buried yourself under the pile of books working here. What’s your favorite book?
W: Oh, it looks like a paradox, but actually I’m not a good reader. I don’t like sitting somewhere for a long time. But when I grab a book, it is usually a travel essay. It makes me feel comfortable.
A man who looked like being in his forties was sitting alone, typing fast on the laptop. A phone bell suddenly stopped his typing. Answering the phone, he got a broad smile and talked on the phone. It presumed to be his daughter considering his noticeable child-directed speech. This little café also seemed to provide a temporary rest for our fatigued daddies.
3. Book stores
You can find many bookstores and secondhand bookstores here. Treasure Island, which the barrister from book café Noon recommended, was a small secondhand bookstore located on the top floor. It is fully filled with donated books from several publications and people who want to share the books they’ve already read. You can buy them on reasonable prices (some are not due to the amazingly low prices – they start from five hundred won!). But don’t expect much before you enter there. Without expectation, it would be a real Treasure Island for you when you find the ones you’d like to buy for 500 won!
Empty your burdens and hastiness through reading the mass of books reaching the ceiling one by one. It would be more meaningful to read books when you are busy. By breaking up your time and investing it to reading, you can find yourself more relaxed before you know it. Put a day aside and let yourself be buried in a stack of books. That would be a precious present for all the efforts you’ve made.
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