The popularity of book cafés has been on the gaining traction in Seoul. Many of the large bookstores around the city are providing spaces for cuddling up with a book all day long while some hair saloons have begun to set up small book cafés of their own for the waiting clients. Some hotels have even gotten rid of their lobbies to set up book cafés inside. The funny thing is that Korean’s don’t read all that much, according to statistics (a rise in the number of book cafés in a country that doesn’t read?). Despite everything, it’ll be interesting to see how far this trend will go.
The latest star of the industry is definitely Hannam-dong’s BookPark. Once inside, you’ll see that its name is indeed quite fitting: it’s a huge jungle of books formed throughout two floors of the building. Established by Interpark Holdings and operated by the Kaos Foundation, BookPark is specialized in science and art publications. The 2nd floor is where you'd find most of the liberal arts, arts and children’s books, and if you're here for science books you can head straight up to the 3rd floor . Twice a year, The Kaos Foundation holds 10 lectures here, and online recordings are available on the website (this coming spring’s topic will be Life Science).
Tables and chairs are scattered throughout the bookstore while little hidden spots are found here as well. There are also cafés and a nice terrace space located at the end section of each floor. For parents with children, the 2nd floor has a dedicated space for a family outing, while the 3rd floor is a better choice for those who seek out privacy. It also has a small vendor selling fun science tools and toys.
You will find a selection of English publications here, but the bookstore is still in their stocking process. It might be a good idea to check out the space and selections here and come back when it get warmer, grab a book and enjoy it at the nice terrace. Well, once you visit, you might want to just hang out here all day, every day — good that it's open until 11pm, and is located right by a subway station.