Book Haul – Used and New

So a while back, I stumbled upon a used bookstore in Daejeon called Aladin. It’s a pretty big chain, and they have multiple stores within the city, and I’m sure there are lots all around Korea, as well. The store also has a site where you can purchase new books, but their used bookstores can’t be beat.

I’d had trouble finding a wide selection of books in English at other stores in Korea, and I found them to be way too expensive, so finding Aladin was a huge relief. They sell all kinds of books and magazines in many different languages, including Korean, English, and Japanese. I also poked around their website and found out that I can order Japanese books and manga from their website, which is a great perk.

My husband and I wandered into the store one night and ended up buying a ton of books. He bought about four books, and I got fourteen. Some are in English and many of them are in Korean. I plan on using the Korean books as reading practice, so they are mostly children’s books. Most of them were in the $2-4 range, and I was amazed by what I found. I also went to Japan recently for summer vacation and bought two novels and a continuation of a manga series I like. And just a few days ago I got Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the mail, and I received the book we are reading for the book club I’m in, which is The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

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I found Sherlock Holmes in Korean! Admittedly, I’ve never read much of Sherlock Holmes in English, but I thought this could be a good way to improve my reading skills, along with all the other Korean books I bought.

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This book looked so interesting. It’s called Women are Strong (여자는 힘이 세다 세계편) and covers the stories of women like Jane Goodall, Amelia Earhart, and so on.

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This is the Korean version (한국편) of the book above, and it focuses on famous Korean women. I haven’t learned much about specific women in Korean history, so this book will hopefully be a great resource for me.

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This is a book about the famous Kim Hong Do, a painter in the Joseon Era. I learned about him a while back when I had to teach his artwork to my kindergartners.

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I honestly have no idea what this book is about, but it’s a story book with pictures and the Korean isn’t too difficult, so I’m assuming it’s a kid’s book. The title is 안경 할머니와 초콜릿 마을 which roughly means The Grandma with Glasses and the Chocolate Village. Sounds pretty interesting to me.

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I have no idea what this is about either, but I’d seen it in cafes before finding it in the used bookstore, and the title is ‘Star’ which caught my eye. I think it’s a collection of translated pieces from a French novelist named Alphonse Daudet. I’d never heard of him before, and the prose is still too complicated for me to read in Korean, so I might not get around to this one for a while.

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From what I can tell, this is the book Through my Eyes by Ruby Bridges, or a version of it anyway. The Korean title is 까만 얼굴의 루비 which means Black-faced Ruby… Not a title I would have chosen to introduce African-American culture to Koreans, but I was so surprised to find this type of book in Korean that I picked it up.

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This is the Korean translation of The Husband’s Secret, which is a book I have on my Kindle. I haven’t read it yet, but I read Big Little Lies, which is by the same author, Liane Moriarty. I enjoyed that book, so I’m sure I’ll like this one, and eventually, when my Korean reading skills are more advanced, I’d like to take a whack at reading novels.

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I’ve read one of Neil Gaiman’s novels (Neverwhere) and Coraline is one of his most famous works. I’ve never seen the movie or anything, but I’m excited to read this soon.

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Not too long ago, I read Sula by Toni Morrison, and I loved it. She’s a wonderful writer, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy Love as well.

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James and the Giant Peach was one of my favorite movies growing up. I remember watching it over and over again at my grandma’s house. I never got sick of it. I’m pretty certain I read this in school, along with The BFG, but I can’t remember exactly. Even if we did read it in school, my teacher mostly read it aloud, so I’ll read this again on my own.

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I thought the movie version of this was pretty cute, so I’d love to see if the novel is better.

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I can’t remember why I picked this up… probably because I saw it and it was in English and around $2. Nevertheless, it looks good!

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This is どんぐり姉妹 (The Acorn Sisters) by よしもとばなな (Yoshimoto Banana). I started reading it in the store and thought it seemed pretty interesting. A few years ago, I read Kitchen by the same author. I think my Japanese level was decent at the time, but the overall story bored me and I didn’t pay much attention to what was going on. I hope I can ease myself back into reading Japanese in order to keep up my language skills.

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When I was in Japan last week, I got two novels and two volumes of a manga series called Orange. Orange is a unique story about a girl who gets a letter from her future self telling her to change what she does in order to save the boy she has a crush on. I first read it in a manga magazine in 2011 or so, and I was instantly hooked. I bought the first volume when it came out, but the series went on hiatus for a while. It eventually got picked up by another publisher and now five volumes are out. I already had a few but wasn’t sure if I’d purchased #4 or not, so I bought that, along with #5. I ended up coming home to find out that I did own #4 so now I have two copies. I think the series is still being published, so #5 might not be the last one, but now I know I can buy it online from Aladin. It was also made into a film, but I’d like to read through volume 5 before I see it.

I also saw a book that looked cute called ケーキ王子の名推理(スペシャリテ)which sort of means The Prince of Cake’s Speciality. It’s about a girl who is heartbroken and learns to make sweets and falls in love with a pastry chef. Sounds sweet and there is a lot of dialogue, so I’m pretty sure I can read this without many problems.

The last book I bought in Japan is called 世界から猫が消えたなら (If Cats Disappeared from the World). It’s apparently sold over a million copies, and they also made a movie out of this book. The main character in the movie is portrayed by Sato Takeru, who is one of my favorite Japanese actors, though I haven’t kept up with him in a while. I’ll try to read this book before I watch the movie.

So that’s it for my book haul! I’m hoping to read a lot more now that I’m no longer a graduate school student (and don’t have to read so many textbooks). I’m hoping to challenge myself with more Korean and Japanese books, but I have so many unread books that it may be a while before I get around to them. I wish someone would pay me to read all day. That would be the life.

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