[Hye-rim's Pick] The comfort of a hard copy book in these trying times

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[Hye-rim's Pick] The comfort of a hard copy book in these trying times

 
“Take care and be safe.”  
 
This has become the new way of greeting one another. The whole world is in a dark state due to the coronavirus outbreak. People have been spending more time at home due to quarantine measures. To look on the bright side, I believe this outbreak has allowed us to think about life, and more precisely, about love. At such a time as this, I recommend “L’amour, C’est,” an anthology.  
 
Based on drawings by French illustrator Jack Koch are poems by 200 authors that aim to define love. In this easy-read book, I found myself smiling all the way through the pages and taking photos of some to share with my friends and family since it’s difficult to meet up with them in person these days. It was definitely a good way of saying that “I’m still here for you” and remind them how much I care for them in such a time of chaos.  
 
Some definitions that caught my attention were “when there is nothing to fear anymore, that is love” or “love is to have a forever friend who gives you strength to start again when all things fade.” 
 
This book helped me realize that everyone has a different definition of love and that could be something as small as sharing a last piece of chocolate to something as big as life and death.  
 
The last page turns the question to the readers asking, “What is your definition of love?”  
 
I took out a piece of paper and pencil and got lost in my own thoughts before I started writing, “To me, love is like an old album. The more you treasure it, the more you try to be as careful as possible so that you do not scratch it.”
 
This book gave me a glimpse of joy during these agonizing times, and it encouraged me to express my love toward my friends and family. This is a good time to think about the ones who have been by your side during the ups and downs; maybe have a cup of tea together through video call.  
 
People may say it’s the end of traditional print books and that they will slowly disappear. But at times like this, grabbing such a book filled with heartwarming illustrations just melts your heart. I don’t think there’s anything that can replace it.
 
BY WOO HYE-RIM   [kjdculture@joongang.co.kr] 
 
 

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