Seoul Book Repository – Seoul, South Korea - Atlas Obscura

Seoul Book Repository

Collected from all around Seoul, thousands of secondhand books create this photogenic tunnel. 

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Established in 2019 by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Seoul Book Repository is South Korea’s first municipal secondhand bookstore.

Housed in a renovated warehouse, the unique cultural center is home to tens of thousands of used books, including such rarities as independent publications, antiquarian books, and donations from celebrities, as well as a large number of English-language books. All were collected from 25 indie bookshops around Seoul. The shelves are organized by the sellers, each of them maintaining its own cataloging system, cloning a smaller-scale version of it within the microcosm of the repository.

While its library-like selection of books is excellent on its own, not to mention photogenic with all the rainbows created by the colorful book spines, many of the visitors to the repository are after something else: Instagrammable photo opportunities.

And it’s no wonder, really. Inside the repository, row after row of iron-framed bookshelf arches form a stunning tunnel. At the end of it is a mirror, creating a much bigger illusion, a dreamscape for bibliophiles. The unique bookshop has also made an appearance in several K-dramas. 

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August 15, 2023

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