By Shim Keum-jo
Many people say ?ever be frugal when buying books.?But there is nothing wrong with buying books that happens to be cheap, right? The ?eautiful Store Sinchon Bookstore,?nicknamed ?oots and Shoots,?is a second-hand bookstore for those who think it is all right to be frugal in that sense.
The bookstore is located in a corner near the busy Sinchon train station. An old pop song plays faintly, some people absorbed in a book sit on wooden chairs, and the books are neatly classified into categories such as literature, history, computer, language, science, and comic.
?ooking thoroughly through the bookstore, you may discover a 1992 issue of the National Geographic. You will also notice that the bookshelf you were leaning on is made out of crates and has ?ragile?printed on it. Happy to find a water purifier and tea bags and coffee, you will find that there are not any throw-away cups, but only mugs. In one corner, a bookshelf with a notice reading, ?or Borrowing?may puzzle you because you thought it only sells books.
First time visitors may wonder whether the store is a book caf? library, or a second-hand bookstore. Park-ha Jae-hong (28), the bookstore manager says, ?t? different from other used bookstores in that it offers an environmentally-friendly ambience coming from the interior designed from recycled goods. Also, we don? buy and sell used books, but sell the books received as donations.?The profits go to needy neighbors, and to create more used bookstores.
?oots and Shoots,?which opened in December of 2005, is run by the ?eautiful Store,?a non-profit-organization that aims to establish a culture of sharing used goods. The nickname ?oots and Shoots?comes from Park-ha? admiration for Dr. Jane Goodall, the famous chimpanzee researcher, who suggested the ?oots and Shoots?program to young people. The program inspires people to take action on behalf of the global environment by understanding the importance of healthy ecosystems. ?? not an environmental activist who shows through big actions. Rather, I? a person who wants to softly influence people with an environmentally-friendly way of life, by living up to it,?says Park-ha.
The bookstore sells books at 1,000-2,000 won, comic books and magazines at 500 won, DVDs and CDs at 1,000-2,000 won. In its website (cafe.naver.com/rootsandshoots.cafe) visitors can check what new books are in and click the ?ine! List?to reserve the book for a certain amount of time until they make a visit to the bookstore and buy it.
?oots and Shoots?holds numerous events which include a flea market for books on the streets and seminars with invited poets. Also, the bookstore can be scheduled for use in the evening if you contact the manager in advance. ? gathering of friends to talk about books or a small birthday party with candles is welcomed,?says Park-ha. The ?ental?fee of the space is quite reasonable: each person can donate 1,000 won or one book.
? wish more students would visit the bookstore and donate books. The people who donate books can participate in the movement of sharing and the buyers can benefit from the low price,?says Park-ha. Students can also volunteer at the bookstore either through school by signing up for a social service course or on their own. Operating hours are Monday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
?he beauty of visiting second-hand bookstores is that you can keep your composure and look around slowly. You never know what you?l find,?adds Park-ha. The longer you stay, the more things you seem to discover. You just can? seem to see the end of it.