Local indie bookstores are dawning trend

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Local indie bookstores are dawning trend

Since 2010, the area near Hongik University in western Seoul has seen an increase in independent bookstores.

And in them, readers can find a variety of magazines that expand on special interests or themes, as well as a wide selection of illustrated books, fables and novels.

One of the more popular of such stores is Hello Indie Books in Yeonnam-dong, western Seoul.

“I named the bookstore that way, so people who don’t know much about indie books can learn about them,” said 37-year-old Lee Bo-ram.

The bookstore, where patrons can even share a beer, has experienced an expanded following since the Yeonnam-dong area has become more popular.

The Book Society in Sangsu-dong, western Seoul, also holds public talks with writers and has since developed into a well-known marketplace for indie publications.

Manager Jeong A-ram added that the role of the bookstore was to provide readers with content and books they could only find at that venue.

Western Seoul is heavily inundated with these kinds of indie bookstores - perhaps most notable is Your Mind, in Hongdae.

Jeju Island also has its own indie shop, Timid Bookstore, run by married couple Jang In-ae and Hyun Mi-ra, who didn’t want to ignore the “sparkle left in their hearts” just because they’d settled down.

Travelers and locals are their main patrons.

BY LEE MYEONG-JIN AND LEE A-RAN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]
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