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Korean Book Designer’s Pick

 

2022.04.04

 

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The book Self-respect Persons (Eotteonchaeg) is the second title by Kim Ji-Soo after, The Philosophers of Their Own Lives (Eotteonchaeg), which was the first interview collection of “Kim Ji-Soo’s Interstellar,” an interview series read by more than 2 million people since 2015.
As a designer, I receive book design requests pretty often. I get to meet books of various fields, and most of the time, I am the first to take a look at the raw manuscript as I have to make a design that best suits the story. I know that a rough look through the book and reading the story thoroughly are different, but sometimes I feel like the story is mine even though I lightly flip through the pages during the designing process. And the book that gave me the feeling the most and the book that I indulged in reading and made it mine was Self-respect Persons. The depth of the interviews and the answers drawn from natural conversations made me smile. It was the first time in a long time that I wanted to underline sentences in a book. Looking at myself reading until the end of the book, leaving the design work behind, made me realize that I am ready to listen to the life advice from those that lived before me. So, I picked this book because I thought that people whose age might be that of an adult but are yet in the course of becoming a “real” adult might find it helpful.
The answers for the common question of “How are you going to live your life while protecting yourself?” come from actress Kim Hye-Ja, psychiatrist Lee Geun-Hoo, choreographer Lia Kim, baseball player Lee Seung-Yup, actor Shin Gu, designer Alessandro Mendini, picture book author Shinsuke Yoshitake, singer Lee Juck, artist Hwang Kyu-Baik, designer Ji Chun-Hee, comedian Jeon Yu-Seong, psychologist Jens Weidner, psychiatrist Jung Hye-Shin, Catholic priest Choi Dae-Hwan, former homeless writer Lim Sang-Chul, forensic scientist Yoo Sung-Ho, and literary critic Lee O-Young.
There were many memorable phrases, but to pick some,
“The lesson I learned was that you get really good things when you are relaxed.” “Use the most out of the time given to you right now. There’s nothing as fair as time.” - Kim Hye-Ja
“Success is about the width, rather than the height.” - Lia Kim
“The thing I hate the most is pretending to be busy. I try to look composed regardless of the busy schedule.” - Ji Chun-Hee
“Don’t look at the challenge when you have the chance. Focus on the opportunity whenever you face the challenge.” - Jens Weidner.

 

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I really like fantasy or detective novels where I get to imagine the scenes. But somehow, doctor Lee O-Young’s books recently caught my attention, so I read two of them. In the long, dark tunnel called the future which the pandemic has taken light away from, many people might be looking for a reason to live, and I, too, have been thinking about it in a part of my mind, not in my head. I think that questioning some kind of origin influences having a positive mindset. It’s because when you ask “Why” many times and get answers, you find yourself immersed in those things even without noticing. It’s like, the more chaotic the surrounding situation, the more questions about “Why” and “Why we should have hope.”
The book Memento Mori (Yolimwon) contains the late president of Samsung Lee Byung-Cheol’s 24 questions about religion and god, asked when he was facing death, and answers from doctor Lee O-Young when he was fighting against cancer in 2021. This is said to be the first volume of the “Lee O-Young’s Dialogue” series, which is planned to consist of 20 volumes. You might find the book hard to understand at first, but you will soon be able to enjoy it with doctor Lee’s humorous way of using metaphors and the book’s magnificent editing.
“People keep on looking for miracles, but if you go to the Moon, there’s not a single blade of grass or a flower. This planet Earth I’m breathing on is the miracle. What other miracle can there be? … I don’t believe in those talking about miracles. Why do you believe in other miracles when you are already living in the miracle of God? It’s a miracle to be living today, and particularly for patients like me, we are thankful for being able to wake up in the morning, surviving another day. If I died yesterday, I would never see the sun today. This is what you call a miracle.” - p.228

 

* K-Book Trends Vol. 43 – Article on professor Lee O-Young

 

 


Written by Sukyoony (Designer)

 

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Sukyoony (Designer)

#Book Designer#Self-respect Persons#Interview collection#Memento Mori#Lee O-Young
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