Chinese section at Kyobo Books
January 17, 2016
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There are many aspects of Kyobo Bookstore in Gwanghwamun that bother me. First and foremost is the decision to stop being a book store and turn into a department store that sells speakers, socks, candles, stationary supplies, bags and snacks. In addition the number of books lying on their sides (as opposed to on shelves) has increased, but the total number of books, and variety of books, has declined precipitously over the last eight years I have been coming here.
But by far the saddest part of the Kyobo Bookstore is the Chinese book section. As opposed to the English language section which includes a good stock, and a few worth reading, or the Japanese section, which is more limited, but still sufficient, the Chinese section is just four shelves in an extremely obscure corner. You would never find it if you did not ask.
The books are translations of Western (and some Japanese) mainstream works. Not a single book by a significant book by a Chinese writer is to be found.
Not sure I know why Kyobo has invested so little in the Chinese section, but it looks like a mistake granted just how important to Korea China has become.
The Chinese book section at Kyobo Books is only about four shelves and contains not a single significant Chinese book.
The Chinese books are translations of Western and Japanese books or bland how-to books by unknown authors.