Book Street, Seoul

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  Gyeongui Line Book Street

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An old railway line and a homage to literature.  Today, in autumnal sunlight, we strolled along Book Street.  It’s a haven of sorts, established to encourage the love of literature. It also remembers a time when the railway ran further, through both South and North Korea joining up with the South Manchuria Railway.

 

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There are up to 14 train-shaped book booths but today, alas, because of Chuseok (Autumn Eve), none of these were open. There are remnants of the original railway tracks with it’s wide gauge, along a grassy, tree-lined walkway, which is built over the metro that runs below. .

 

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And look at these talking books!

The bold, brightly coloured metal books are facing each other in conversation, framing these two men also in conversation with music.  A metal girl is climbing the ladder to re-stock the library shelves, or perhaps to take a book out!

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The old track runs for some kilometres and is lined with trees, part Book Street and continuing on as Gyeongui Line Forest Park. A surprising dollop of soft green amid the brick and concrete. Beautifully planned, but not too perfect, so that some of the grasses are less kempt, rather than manicured.

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Above, the unkempt lovely look beneath the metal ‘Forest of Text’ created to reflect the literary ambience of Book Street. The steel rods are holding aloft text through which the sun shines.   The street remembers too, a time when Hongdae was less gentrified and trendy and the home for upcoming Indie bands and musicians.

 

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