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2017 Bookstore Day

'Living in Bookstores' that dream of the future, where people are happy

 

2017.12.01

 

Every Nov. 11 is Bookstore Day

 

In 2016, the Korea Federation of Bookstore Association designated Nov. 11 as 'Bookstore Day' as the Chinese character for 'book' resembles books standing in a bookcase. South Korea's culture ministry decided to start providing support for this annual 'holiday' starting this year, hosting regional events to mark the day and holding other festivities to boost recognition of bookstores and those who are in the industry - including bookstores that are not in major cities.

 

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At the main event marking the holiday, awards were handed out including one given from the culture minister, one for this year's best bookstore individual and best association. A judge panel also designated one author and one book as this year's book and author.

 

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● This year's author

Nam-joo Cho (Novelist)

Novelist Nam-joo Cho was born in Seoul in 1978. After working as a writer on a lifestyle-information program for ten years, she rose to fame after penning books like  The Confessions of a South Korean Feminist, Ji-young Kim Born in '82, For Gomanechi and When You Listen

 

● This year's book

 

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Literature·Novels  | Ji-young Kim Born in '82
Children·Teens  | Almond
Economics·Management·Politics·Society  | Myeonggyeonmanri
Self-development·History·Arts·Science  | Book Reading by Those Who Were Unable to Survive
Others  | Sounds and Motions

 

The Bookstore Day symposium that was held on Nov. 3 kicked off with presentations by representatives from various bookstores who talked about bookstores, those who work in bookstores and bookstore culture. In the following two parts of the event, presentations were made by those in academia on 'spaces of bookstores' and 'culture of bookstores'. There was also a discussion on bookstores' present and their future later in the day. A conference was also held for guests who had visited from overseas. Local speakers for the symposium included Eun-su Jang, headof the 'Editing Culture Research Lab' and from overseas were invited Chen Long-hao, the founder of Taiwan Association of Independent Bookshop Culture and the chairman of Turkey's authors' association. At the event, the speakers spoke onwhat bookstores look like in their respective countries and what their futures are expected to look like. It was an opportunity for those working in the bookstore industry to gather in one area and come together.

 

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Various events drawing public participation

 

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There were other festivities that allowed regular visitors to seek out bookstores and enjoy Bookstore Day. Book concerts were held in several locations throughout the country where authors of bestsellers and children's books spoke to readers and answered their questions. It was a special occasion for many as readers were able to meet the authors in person and discuss books and culture. There was also a photo competition, where the public was encouraged to find 'the bookstore of their life'. They were encouraged to visit a bookstore, take a photograph and enter it in the contest with a special, personal story. Successful candidates in the competition later saw their photographs displayed on the book street on the old Gyeongeui train line at the 'Book Safari Display'. The exhibition drew crowds with its unique and various displays that involved both people and books.
Aside these, the 'bookcase sale event' and 'letters inside books - mystery letter books' were also popular among the general public. Bookcases made out of high-quality wood displaying traditional Korean patterns and images were popular among those who wished to give books inside the cases as presents. The second event resembled a treasure hunt in which people were advised to find 'letters inside books' mailboxes installed in six locations and send letters to undisclosed recipients. The letters were later placed inside books sold in regional bookstores randomly for future readers to enjoy as a complete surprise. Annual events like these to mark Bookstore Day are expected to continue, providing fun and knowledge for all those who participate.

 

 


Written by Myung-im Nam

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Myung-im Nam

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