remembering a bookstore drop by
Whenever I go downtown, I keep forgetting to stop by a Korean bookstore before heading home. Because the drive is a too long one for me, I try to do all of my shopping for at least the next 2 weeks. There wasn’t really any particular book that I was looking for. Just maybe something the bookstore owner might suggest to me that my Mom would like to read. Because my Mom had a small selection of Korean novels at home, but none of them really seemed to be exciting reads. So I always wondered if there might be a book or set of books that I could get for my Mom, that might become her new favs, that she’d pick up and read and reread years down the road.
A few months ago, I actually did remember to finally check out a Korean bookstore, which I knew was located right above a grocery store (I usually have to use my phone for directions to go to any joint in this city). I rode the escalator up to 2nd floor. But when I got to the bookstore’s unit among all of the different shops on that floor, the store owner and another person were both stacking up all of the books. They were in the process of moving, they said. Rats. Missed me a bookstore browsing opportunity when I had finally remembered to go.
Today, I needed to go to a particular grocery store to buy something that I knew was sold for the cheapest price at this store. So after my church service, I headed to that store because the church I go to is located not too far from where that store is. But when I got to there, talk about traffic! The store’s parking lot has 2 entrances/exits. Both had a long line of cars going in and out. After waiting for what seemed like forever (was probably a whole whopping 5 minutes, though, I’m sure), I finally gave up on trying to find me a parking space, and decided to just come back later.
As I was waiting for the traffic light to change, I tried to recall in which direction my next store stop was at. That’s when I noticed there was a bright yellow building in front of me with a big sign that said “Bookstore” on it. And an OPEN sign was blinking on its front tinted windows. I felt like Dorothy – except I was heading to a yellow building, instead of traveling on a yellow brick road. A Korean bookstore! Yeah! I drove straight to there.
The bookstore was the first Korean one that I had ever seen sell used books, along with the new ones. Totally loved it, cuz I was a fan of used bookstores (and thrift stores, period).
Me gots da book!
I’m a major fan of book illustrations. Color pencil and watercolor illustrations are my favorite to see. So when I had come across Lee Me Kyeoung’s work on the Internet, I was in utter awe. Her drawings made me smile and brought back memories of the grocery store down the road from my grandmother’s home, which I would go to with the sis to go buy ice cream from.
Lee Me Kyeoung is an artist who had spent about 20 years of her life drawing small Mom ‘n Pop grocery stores all around Korea. She says the best time for her to begin her drawings (which she uses acrylic pens to create) is during the noontime, when there are no shadows cast around the stores during that time of the day. Here are some of her work, which I’m a-gonna absolutely enjoy looking over and over again in her book. You can check out more of her work and future works from her website here.
This one looks like the front of my family home with its unmatching chairs and lotsa plant pots.