Small concept bookstores thriving
“As more people turn to electronic devices for reading instead of paper books, many neighborhood bookstores are vanishing. Despite this trend, small, independent bookstores with unique concepts, as opposed to major bookstore chains, are emerging as hot places to go.
While figures show that local bookstore numbers fell more than 70 percent over the past two decades, small, concept bookstores, armed with genre books, books by independent publishers and with strong local communities, are increasing.
In August, Choi In-a, former vice president of Cheil Worldwide, a major advertising company, opened a bookstore bearing her name in Yeoksam, southern Seoul. Her store, in one of Korea’s most expensive districts, is more like a library than a bookstore, with some 6,000 books. It also holds book talks and mini-concerts.
Popular comedian and TV personality Ro Hong-chul has opened a small independent bookstore in Yongsan. It sells books his celebrity friends recommend and Ro serves customers drinks and talks with fans.
Indie musician Yozoh and poet Yoo Hee-kyung have also joined the ranks of small bookstore owners.”