By Han Sang-hee
Kyobo Book Centre reopened its Gwanghwamun branch after a five-month renovation, Friday.
The bookstore had been a popular spot, and the revamp will likely satisfy more booklovers and attract more visitors, as it has been equipped with state-of-the-art facilities.
Under the concepts ``communication’’ and ``future,’’ the bookstore has arranged three distinctive sections for the two subjects _ consilience and POD (Publish-On-Demand) corners, and a smart phone service.
``As the world becomes more digitalized, communication becomes more important offline. That’s why we emphasized interaction and communication,’’ said Kim Seong-ryong, head of the bookstore.
The bookstore opened two separate sections called ``Guseojae’’ and ``Samhwanjae,’’ each based on the libraries of the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910) era scholars, Lee Deok-mu and Chae Ji-hong, respectively. These two sections will offer books recommended by experts in various fields. Kyobo explained that it aimed to move forward from the rather passive functioning of displaying books, and offer visitors a more interactive and informative recommendation system.
``When you come to a bookstore, you have to be able to find and purchase good books hidden somewhere in the store. It’s our duty to lead readers to a more in-depth reading habit in the digital age,’’ Kim added.
In line with the ``future’’ concept, Kyobo is starting its ``POD service,’’ where readers can have their hands on books that have been sold out or out of print. It also includes a service that will transform web blog content into a book, an initiative to make way into the e-book wave.
The smart phone application service will allow people to obtain information about books, bestsellers, authors and events directly from their phones.
Aside from the books section, Kyobo has also arranged various cultural spaces and accommodation where visitors can sit, read and also attend events, while the number of individual reading chairs has been increased from 35 to 50.
The Gwanghwamun branch of Kyobo Book Centre is located near exits 4 and 5 of Gwanghwamun Station on subway line 5.