This Seoul Secondhand Bookstore Is A Photogenic Peek Into The Past


Shasha Dania •  Apr 12, 2019

Visitors to Seoul have known about the Starfield Library at COEX mall and other stunning photo spots around the city for a while, but now there's a new contender for the best Insta-worthy backdrops at the Seoul Book Depository ?

Credit: @sungmin.cho.1974 on Instagram

Newly opened in April 2019, the Depository is the first public secondhand bookstore put together by the Seoul city government. With rows and rows of shelves stocked with books from smaller secondhand stores around the city, the repository is meant to help boost the profile of these smaller stores by providing a stylish and much larger space to display their wares of choice. As an added bonus, the sleek metal and wood panelling everywhere makes this one of the most photogenic bookstores we've ever seen! ?

Credit: @kimsu0219 on Instagram

While most of the Depository's stock is written in Korean, bibliophiles will be thrilled to see the sheer variety of books on display but if you're looking for English-language texts you might have better luck elsewhere. ? While the bookstore is open to all members of the public to enter and browse, do be careful not to damage the books! Food and drinks are also not allowed inside the shop to protect the books.

Credit: @jeongdae__ on Instagram

There's even a special exhibit dedicated to old textbooks and magazines! ? From magazines from the 1970s and 1980s selling long-outdated gadgets, to old elementary school textbooks, the Depository is as much a peek into South Korea's cultural past as it is a shop. ?

Credit: @woneyuan1 on Instagram

The bold metal and wooden structures serving as bookshelves are definitely a strong contrast to the old books that lie on their shelves. But isn't that blend of the old and new, the past and the present, so uniquely South Korean that you can't help but be drawn in by its charm? ?

Opening hours: 10.30am-8.30pm (Tues-Fri), 10am-9pm (Sat-Sun); closed on Mondays, Jan 1st, Korean New Year, and Chuseok holidays

Address: No. 1 Gwacheon-gu, Songpa-gu, Seoul, Korea

Website (Korean)