Why I Like Books

*This is a translated version of Ko's original essay in Korean.


I've never told anyone that I like books. My reading habit has always been on and off. Even when I was in the mood to read, I switched focus to another book after skimming a few chapters. However, books somehow never left my life. I organized an independent book publishing club in college, got my first job at a publishing company, and now started a publisher myself. Maybe I need to rethink my feelings toward books. I should be able to tell everyone that I like books.

Books have always taken me somewhere nice. Through books, I've met incredibly kind people and solved headache-inducing worries. I was sometimes disappointed by the same kind of filler content, but I always sensed the transformative power of words. To me, reading has been the ultimate version of a positive-sum game. Whenever I picked up a book, I was destined to win.

Thanks to the magical medium of books, I had a chance to be friends with the warm-hearted people at "Second Hand Books Station."1 Some say people don't read anymore, but the room was packed with readers from all over Jeju. Some guests returned on the second day to browse more, and many visitors spent more than two hours in the crowded space. Watching the shelves filled with donated books, I realized the books had transported me to somewhere wonderful again.

I enjoyed every second of preparing for Second Hand Books Station, but I was also worried. Would anyone care about a fair about used books? Would people have time for another event at the end of the year? To ease the doubt, I had to constantly remind myself to be immersed in the process, not the result.

Second Hand Books Station made me appreciate my lifelong affection for books even more. Hinge, Larry, and Illy, the three dear friends who organized the event together, share similar feelings. More than ever, we are determined to read, write, and publish more. We all can't wait to find out where books take us next.

  1. Second Hand Books Station, a small festival for book lovers, was held on 23/12/29~30 at Logout Island in Jeju. Ko and her friends organized a second-hand books market and showcased exhibits about books and reading. 

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