“But are you able to find English books over there?”
People who love me are often concerned about whether or not I’ll be able to sate my need for books in South Korea. (Not that I need to buy books any time soon, I have a new bookcase heaving with all the loot that made up the bulk of my allotted 40 kilogrammes, courtesy of Qatar Airways.)
To those expats living in Korea who are worried about finding English books to read, have no fear. I have made it my personal mission to find all the bookstores in Daegu (the city where I live) and beyond!
The Kyobo branch in Daegu is a wonderful shop based in the city centre and is conveniently situated near subway line 1 (the red line) and numerous buses. I take the Express Bus number 1 (급행 1) from Jungri Lotte Castle to the 2.28 Jungang Memorial Park (another must-see attraction) and from there it’s a short walk to one of my favourite places in the world. (Check out the location on Google Maps.)
Kyobo has a range of English fiction and non-fiction books, as well as children’s and young adult books. Koreans seem to love the classics, and you’re almost always sure to see copies of The Little Prince or Harry Potter on the shelves. For those of you who are keen to learn Hangul, there is also a wide array of Korean language books. Check out my loot from this weekend’s purchase:
On Saturday I bought Korean Alive Beginner 1, the textbook for my Korean lessons at the Daegu Global Station, and My Weekly Korean Vocabulary (the Korean Grammar in Use was a gift from a friend).
You’ll often see Koreans milling about on a Saturday, buying books and meeting up with friends and colleagues. On the second floor you’ll also find a delectable coffee shop with cute decor and decadent caffeinated beverages:
If you continue down the escalators you’ll find Hot Tracks, one of the most amazing stationery, art and electronic stores I’ve ever seen. Hot Tracks is underground near the Jungang-ro subway station and is surrounded by other shops selling clothes, electronics, art, food, and so much more. You can spend the whole day underground eating snacks and gawking at awesome-sauce gadgets.
When you exit the subway, you can walk along the same street to find my absolute favourite arts and crafts shop and the real reason I came back to Korea, S-Dot. On my first trip to S-Dot in three years I left with all of these:
So there you have it, books and stationery all on (and under) one large and central street. Next time I’ll let you in on the smaller bookstores in the area.
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