Bookdio is a radio channel which serves the purpose of promoting the culture of reading in the modern society where books are cast out of people’s hands. Rather than vocalizing intricate words compiled in a book, panels contrive diverse sections depending on their field of interest that introduce and analyze books from numerous genres such as contemporary Korean literature, film literature, poetry and British-American classics.
Bookdio was founded in 2010 by university students who enjoyed reading and wanted to become authors.
“A few friends and I started Bookdio for the purpose of introducing and recommending books to the audience in entertaining means,” said Han Ji-hoon, the main host of Bookdio. “Just as you can ‘read’ people’s hearts as you can read books, we wanted to deliver more than what voices rigidly enunciate off a book, but reach further and resonate the listener’s heart.”
In many cases, members of Bookdio have other occupations, which made it an arduous task for them to persistently maintain broadcasting in early stages of settlement.
Fortunately, though, Bookdio was assigned as a nonprofit organization by Seoul city, which funded, though by scarce amounts, and lightened the burden on the laden shoulders of the members. Along with pragmatic issues, members of Bookdio had faced several waves of predicaments brought on by difficult relationships.
“We were often discouraged by those who departed after a discord in opinions and values, and many times newcomers were disappointed at us for the same reason,” said Lee Jin (Konkuk University, 4), an author of Bookdio.
All of the members have different individualities and prominent features, which at times may make running programs demanding. Yet, they do not stop because all of the members work scrupulously and try to coordinate each other’s differences they face. Now, Bookdio has reached almost 900 broadcasting episodes without missing a schedule once.
“It’s tough during times. To say everything goes smoothly would be a lie,” said Kim sang-hoon, an author of Bookdio. “However, we do not avoid impediments, instead we confront them and struggle with them together as a group so that we can remain a group.”
Though it may seem like running sections in a radio channel requires professional knowledge about language and literature, they are mostly run by people who read as their hobby, and many of the currently active members come from irrelevant backgrounds.
“I work as a barista, and reading is merely one of my most ardent hobbies,” said Kim Se-na, a panel of Bookdio. “After work, I would come home exhausted, and yet I’d find myself working my way through the script for the next day’s recording session. I can’t explain exactly why, but Bookdio is what enamors me.”
Because broadcasting not only involves those who deliver but also those who receive, listeners of Bookdio are special to the members. From time to time, they receive unexpected praise and flattery which, to them, are quite unbelievable.
“During one of the public broadcasting sessions, I met a few people from the audience who came up to me and said to be fans of mine,” Lee said. “It was too astonishing to believe. I’m only a normal university student, yet they like me for what I do.”
The members aim more for sustainment rather than development. To them, Bookdio is not an obligation or an occupation, but somewhere they can express their attachment towards what they love doing.
“Bookdio does not exist either to go on display for all to see or to pursue wealth, but for our own good only.” Han said. “We gather and do it because we love what we’re doing. It is the only reason how we remained standing for the last few years, and we hope to maintain this on in the future.”