게시물 상세

Suncheon, Jeollanam-do

A Place Full of Peace and Literature

 

2020.12.07

 

 

 

Suncheon, Jeollanam-do, boasts a God-given natural landscape where the mountains, sea, and lakes make a beautiful mixture. With people calling the region "sogangnam (meaning the second Gangnam in Chinese, which refers to the prosperous region on the southern Yangzi river), the city, nature, and people live in peaceful harmony. The Jeolla Line and Gyeongjeon Line railroads cross to connect Youngnam and Honam regions, making Suncheon a popular tourist site for many people. Writer Kim Seung-Ok described Suncheon and Suncheonman Bay as the "utopia in Korea" in his book Mujingihaeng. Mujin, a mere virtual city when the novel was released, became the real name of the region later on. Let's take a look at the gem hidden in Suncheon, where the beautiful natural scenery makes a perfect blend with excellent cuisine and people.

 

 

Enlightened Suncheon: Book Support Project

Suncheon City conducts several book support programs to encourage people to read. And such projects have helped citizens save their budget for purchasing books and reinvigorated the regional economy by cooperating with small local bookstores. Also, as the city provided financial support for young adults when buying books, it became the soil for fostering work capabilities, finding a career, and building capacity.
Such programs could reap such good outcomes, all thanks to Suncheon City's unique and continuous efforts to encourage people to read. The city opens lectures about liberal arts and education, connecting them to the financial support provided for buying books. Also, by running the "Give a Book Library" that displays books for unlimited reading in public organizations, the city has established a reading environment for its citizens. What's more, 83 small libraries are set up for citizens of Suncheon so that it takes just 5 minutes to walk to a library. On top of these, Suncheon City is also much interested in publishing projects as it publishes manuscripts of civil writers into books. And the city acknowledges the importance of young adults and is carrying out support programs for them such as "Finding Dreams for Young Adults." The city also actively supports start-up companies established by them with spaces forged for their activities.

 

Poster of

Poster of "Finding Dreams for Young Adults"

 

 

 

Suncheon City is encouraging its citizens to read books through a variety of book-related programs.

 

 

 

A treasure house for young dreams: "Cheongchun Warehouse"

Suncheon City remodeled a building that has been used as a granary for more than 50 years since 1961 into a start-up base camp for young adults. A warehouse that used to keep grains has now turned into a place that nurtures youth's dreams. Cheongchun Warehouse, once a granary, is a place where young cultures are shared as the youth come together, share food, and enjoy good times. It has settled down as the central pillar for the youth culture where it is produced, consumed, and shared. Also, as an "incubating area" for the youth to start a business, food, and beverage stores are located on the first floor, and a handicraft shop sits on the second floor; the building provides a hall reservation for all sorts of performances and also for "meeting cubes," where various experience programs can be enjoyed as well. Right next to the warehouse is the VR SQUARE, adding more youth to the place.

 

Exterior of Cheongchun Warehouse

Inside the VR SQUARE

Exterior of Cheongchun Warehouse (left), Inside the VR SQUARE (right)

 

 

A Book Playground Embracing Suncheon: "Simda"

Simda, a playground of books, is a very special place for not only the Suncheon citizens but also for travelers. It is because you can see various items that connect regions and cultures on top of books. This is why travelers visiting the bookstore to look around or buy books end up leaving with their hands full of postcards, photo books, and magnets, along with a book. These items, which all began with the owner's idea that it would be good to have souvenirs alongside books in the bookstore, have become a signature characteristic of Simda. Another unique thing about Simda is the exclusive book curations by the bookstore keeper; short reviews are written and posted on books by the keeper. Such efforts lend a warm hand to those that are unfamiliar with books or those who want to encounter new books and help lead them to the world of books.

 

Outside of Simda

Inside of Simda

Outside and inside of Simda

 

Simda also publishes books itself while covering several independent publications alongside selling souvenirs, including children's poem collection of kids from a nearby elementary school to historical novels about the Yeosu-Suncheon rebellion written by elementary school students. The bookkeeper says, "Independent publishing is an extension of one's desire to express their ideas, and it allows one's story to be fully put into letters." This is in line with Simda's slogan, "Anyone can plant (pronounced simda in Korean) a book," and makes Simda an irreplaceable place. Simda is planning to keep on making items with creators from the region that reflect the story of books and the region. Amidst the time when managing a bookstore is tougher than ever, Simda dreams of becoming a place where people, regardless of age, come together at ease and delightfully enjoy books and regional culture – Well, Simda has already become a book playground that attracts residents and travelers within.

 

 

 

A Space for Book Culture that Enriches Individuals: "Working with Books"

Working with Books is a 2-year-old independent bookstore that opened on October 9th, 2018. The bookstore mainly covers books about liberal arts, society, and art; it is also carrying out various activities related to adolescents with a great interest in them. Working with Books is hosting a variety of book-related programs such as book meetings, movie meetings, and a night bookstore while publishing a liberal arts magazine for adolescents and reading or writing reviews about classical books with students in a classic-reading meeting for teens. Being a foundation for building book culture in the region, independent bookstores like Working with Books have a significant meaning. They can introduce authors in a variety of ways and carry out multiple programs related to books. Such small-sized activities present an in-depth impression of how neighbors read and digest books from a close distance.

 

Outside of Working with Books

Inside of Working with Books

Inside and Outside of Working with Books

 

The bookkeeper of Working with Book says, "I dream of a harmonious world where people communicate with each other through liberal arts." This is why the bookstore mainly covers books about liberal arts, society, and art. Liberal arts has a power that drives people to live a decent life. It is the philosophy of the bookkeeper and the values of Working with Books that books and book meetings are the tools for educating democratic citizens to help them move away from the attributes of capitalism. In an era where people prefer buying things at a place that offers a lower price, wouldn't they take a step back from the properties of capitalism when it comes to books? Working with Books suggests a way for us to live a decent life as a human being with the somehow cozy word, "liberal arts."

 

 

 

A Place where Books and Photos Coexist: "Bookshop Studio"

When the name "independent bookstore" came to the fore, and the number of bookstores began to increase, bookstores came close to our reach in many different styles. A book cafe, which is a combination of books and a cafe, is one of the most common types that we see. In Japan, where independent bookstores developed from an early age, there are places where people can have a meal and read books at the same time, and even places where readers can have a glass of beer alongside books. Meanwhile, there is another type of bookstore in Suncheon, which is "Bookshop Studio," a combination of books with a studio. Bookshop Studio, run by a couple, displays books on the front side of the store with a small space for people to read books while having a photo studio in the back where the bookkeeper takes photos and works on them, making it a highly unique place.

 

Outside of Bookshop Studio

Inside of Bookshop Studio

Inside and outside of Bookshop Studio

 

Bookshop Studio mainly curates picture books, children's books, and teen books. An extraordinary insight of the bookkeeper is added who has majored in picture books and has long been making picture books while working as a picture book reviewer. As the bookstore is located in an apartment forest, many of its visitors are children and students. In particular, when students are buying books about history or social issues, the bookkeeper cannot contain himself from smiling as it is good to see them expanding their knowledge. The bookstore also hosts meetings where they show animations based on children's stories and run picture book meetings. Bookshop Studio tries to be a friendly place for children as independent publications are mainly for adults. Perhaps such efforts and considerations of adults become the fertile soil for children to grow up as good adults. The hand held out by Bookshop Studio to children is indeed beautiful as it is.

 

 

 

Talking about Life with Picture Books: "Dog Bookshop"

Dog Bookshop is a bookstore specialized in picture books. The bookkeeper believes that reserving children's books for children is a stereotype. Perhaps this is why many of the visitors are adults. Grownups that come to Dog Bookshop read picture books and even buy some with the bookkeeper's recommendation. In this process, they can have a friendly conversation with the bookkeeper if they want to. The bookkeeper recommends books that people would find most helpful through conversations. Such customized service is an exclusive experience you can have in independent bookstores. It is different from curations provided by big bookstores packed with a countless number of books.

 

Outside of Dog Bookshop

Inside of Dog Bookshop

Inside and outside of Dog Bookshop

 

But the true value of Dog Bookshop begins here. There are some people that truly "grow up" while reading picture books. One of the bookkeeper's philosophies running a picture book-specialized bookstore is that "you can truly communicate with children around you after you meet the little kid inside you." Once you look at the images in the books, you may face your true self and the times when you were pure – all those forgotten as we live. One grownup who used to cover himself with numerous masks in the harsh world would shed tears after finding himself inside a picture book. When you feel frustrated or when you need healing in daily life listening to the quiet sound of papers flipping over, you might get yourself a little pat on your back in Dog Bookshop. How about beginning a journey and find the little kid each of us has in our hearts at Dog Bookshop?

 

 

 


Written by Kang Chan-Hwi

kbbok

Kang Chan-Hwi

If you liked this article, share it with others. 페이스북트위터블로그인쇄

Pre Megazine