I admit it, I love books. Granted, I don’t read as much as I once did, and I have a shorter attention span than I did as a kid (it’s supposed to be the reverse, isn’t it?), so if I’m reading a passage that’s just not doing it for me, I tend to skip ahead, which I never used to do. This means my books now tend to be read less cover to cover and more bit by bit. But I’m still wildly attracted to bookstores. So naturally one of the first things I want to do when I start learning a new language is find a bookstore and buy some books.
My current Korean book resource is the Korean Book Center, located on the lowest level of the Koreatown Plaza near the market end and called in Korean 정음사 (I’m not sure how they get “Korean Book Center” out of that, since I don’t see 한 in there anywhere, but I admit my Korean is limited). They have a huge online presence here, but I prefer to go to the store and browse around.
The store itself is not huge. In fact, it’s quite small, but they manage to do quite a bit with the space they’ve got. You’re certainly not going to find benches where you can sit and read the books instead of buying them (I’ve never completely understood the logic behind that), but you will find a sufficient language-learning section and a large section of English/American classics in translation, which leads me to believe they probably have a good selection of Korean classics in the original, too (I can’t recognize those yet, so I can’t say). About half the store is devoted to non-fiction, which I tend to avoid since I get enough of real life in my, um, real life, but I did notice a nice section on cooking.
This store is where I bought my $40 Korean-English/English-Korean dictionary which has no transliterations and forces me to use the Korean alphabet (yay!). If you’re looking for Korean books, this store is a reasonable place to start.