Just because international traveling is impossible right now, doesn’t mean you cannot plan for the Covid-19 free future.

If you have been binging on Korean dramas during this pandemic, you might notice a commonly seen filming location is either the library or the bookstore.

Instead of a place for reading and to buy books, these libraries and bookstores are usually the meeting places for the characters. Sometimes, it is also a place for them to ‘accidentally’ bump into each other.

If South Korea is in your itinerary post Covid-19 pandemic, and you love reading, try to visit these five Korean libraries and bookstores.

Who knows? You can recreate the Korean drama scenes and capture them in photos for memories.

Here are five Korean libraries and bookstores from your favourite K-dramas that you might want to visit:

1.CGV Cine Library

This library is the shooting locations of Chicago Typewriter (2017), Black Knight (2017), You Drive Me Crazy! (2018), Are You Human? (2018), Find Me in Your Memory (2020) and Alice (2020).

In Korean drama-land, it is a place where press conferences take place such as Find Me in Your Memory and Chicago Typewriter.

Besides that, it is also a place to hold a talk such as in Black Knight (2017), this library was where Jang Baek-hee (Jang Mi-hee) gives her talk about her blog and in Are You Human? (2018) where scientist Oh Ro-ra (Kim Sung-ryoung) talks about artificial intelligence.

CGV Cine Library is the first cinema library and art house in South Korea. Located at Jung-gu, Seoul, it is known to have over 10,600 books on various movies.

2.Seoul Book Repository

The hotel in Korean drama Hotel del Luna (2019) is nothing like your normal hotel. It is where all dead people coming to terms with their unfinished business in their former lives.

One of them was a ghost who wanted to read all the books in the world. Surrounded with books, the ghost who seem to enjoy reading.

This particular scene is shot at Seoul Book Repository, the city’s first public secondhand bookstore.

The building is in fact an old warehouse that was used previously for storing Amway’s products.

There are about 120,000 secondhand books in the 1400 square-meter store. All the books are supplied by 25 secondhand bookstores from around Seoul city.

While in the drama the place is a place of refuge for the afterlife, in the real world Seoul Book Repository aims to provide small secondhand bookstores with an effective sales platform.

3.Uijeongbu Art Library

Do you know that there are different kinds of specialised libraries in South Korea? The Soriul Library for example, is specialised in musical instruments. Located in Osan city, the library has 20,000 books and 180 kinds of musical instruments.

Meanwhile, Yeokgok Library which is located in Bucheon, focuses on forest and environment. It offers visitors at least 21,000 books on nature alone.

Uijeongbu Art Library is South Korea’s first library that works as an art gallery as well. It was officially opened to public in December 2019.

In one of the episode of It’s Okay to Not Be Okay (2020), the main characters Moon Gang-tae (Kim Soo-hyun), Sang-tae (Oh Jung-se) and Ko Mun-yeong (Seo Ye-jin) go to this library to research on children books.

4.Forest of Wisdom

What makes Forest of Wisdom an interesting place is that it is neither a library or bookshop.

Yes, it is home to over 200,000 books and has space for 100,000 more.

However, the books are not for sale or to be loaned out.

In fact, it is a place for people to read, have a cup of coffee, hold events such as classes and orchestra and film some Korean dramas.

There is a long list of K-dramas that were filmed here. The list include Record of Youth (2020), The World of the Married (2020), The King: Eternal Monarch (2020), She Was Pretty (2015), Search: WWW (2019) and many more.

Forest of Wisdom is located in Paju, a city dedicated especially for books.

5.Arc N Book

This unique cultural space is not just a bookstore but a lifestyle store.

Located in the basement of Buyong Eulji Building, Seoul, Arc N Book is famous for its ‘book tunnel’ display.

Imagine walking through a space with books above your head.

In the drama Start-Up (2020), it is where Seo Dal-mi (Bae Suzy) comes to pick up a book but ends up running into Nam Do-an (Nam Joo-hyuk) and his co-founders.

Other K-dramas that were filmed here were Run On (2020), Mother of Mine (2019) and Romance is a Bonus Book (2019).

Do you have other South Korean libraries to visit on your bucket list? Let us know in the comment box.

Patricia Hului
Patricia Hului is a Kayan who wants to live in a world where you can eat whatever you want and not gain weight. She grew up in Bintulu, Sarawak and graduated from the University Malaysia Sabah with a degree in Marine Science. She worked for The Borneo Post SEEDS, which is now defunct. When she's not writing, you can find her in a studio taking belly dance classes, hiking up a hill or browsing through Pinterest. Follow her on Instagram at @patriciahului, Facebook at Patricia Hului at Kajomag.com or Twitter at @patriciahului.

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