17 Dec 2016

Bosu-dong: The Street of Old Books and Traditional Values

If you’re addicted to quiet spaces, with a few traces of obsoleteness and faint smell of old books, just drop by yourself on 보수동헌책방골목 – Bosu-dong Street of Old Books locating at the heart of Busan city. From Busan station, you just need a 15-minute-bus-riding to the noisy and super-crowded town of old books which stays among a large area of flashy buildings. These small wooden houses are featured with neatly-organized bookshelves, the old design of them exudes the story of the past, the shabby stairs leading to tiny rooms of “common people “locating on the gentle slopes – all those envoirments that make you feel like you’re about to step into another world.

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As the information technology is growing, we’ve been wondering the big question for a while now: Is the era of books passing by while visual culture is holding the golden throne? Especially in Korea – a country ranked among the top information technology leaders of the world, the use of modern technology such as the iPhone, iPad … with E-books are popular to all ages, how can the value and role of books be evaluated?

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Understandably, the major motivation to Korean economic development traditionally is the human resource. Accordingly, all backed sectors supporting the development of physical, personality, intelligence and consciousness of Korean citizens are invested in appropriately. Particularly, publishing law and copyright law are under government’s strict regulations and rigorous protection. In South Korea, although book prices are not cheap at all, even slightly more expensive than the student’s budget. Absolutely no illegally published book can be sold. People who write books, make books live with their own pen, their jobs, and the readers are well educated to be aware of observance of law, to appreciate and recognize the value of the labor of. That makes me, a foreign student always feel reassuring when entering a bookstore whether it’s small or large, and totally satisfied when purchasing a book of my personal favorites.

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For me personally, every time I read a book online, even the story is so attractive and my mind is strongly absorbed, after shutting down the computer, I feel so empty and my feeling is slipping to somewhere else like surfing on a white-headed ocean wave with a skateboard. Although iPhone or iPad has grown up to be something huge now, It cannot not replace the role of books. Books are still existing data sources, treasuring the true value of human race. Additionally, I do not know if I’m a little bit eccentric, as I have always been fascinated by old books which have yellow pages than the new books with white pages. Whenever I sniffed the smell old books placed on the shelves for a long time, turn the pages which are ivory with the trails of long history, I have the feeling like sitting on a time machine to return to a moment in the past. The happiest moment is when we come upon an author’s autographs, underscored favorite quotes or interesting couple of comments along the margins. The notation’s simple but attractive and has an exotic value, makes me feel like I’ve just met a soul mate for so a long time of yearning to find.

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These bookstores offer sales of old textbooks so that there are a lot of students come here to sell their used books. Books on sales are primarily written in Korean, English textbooks are also largely explained by … Korean. Don’t worry if you don’t know Korean. With just a camera, a relaxed mind for seeking peaceful space, you can wander all day and discover many interesting things around this place.

Map to the City of Old Books: http://bit.ly/Y2MTSt

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