The Korea Herald


Seoul book festival to feature popular authors

Seoul Book Festival 2013 to hold night reading programs and Q&A sessions with authors

By Claire Lee

Published : Nov. 6, 2013 - 19:15

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Young readers participate in the Seoul Book Festival last year. (BRcomm., Inc.) Young readers participate in the Seoul Book Festival last year. (BRcomm., Inc.)
The annual Seoul Book Festival kicks off its sixth edition on Thursday, offering special book-themed programs including talking sessions with cartoonist Rhie Won-bok and author Kim Jin-myeong.

Hosted annually by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the three-day event will be attended by Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon and authors Seong Seok-je and Han Soo-san, among others.

Among the featured authors, cartoonist Rhie Won-bok will talk about his latest book, the last installment of his popular series, “Far Countries, Near Countries.”

One of the most enduring and successful cartoon series in the country, “Far Countries, Near Countries,” featuring the inner workings and culture of foreign nations, has sold over 17 million copies in the past 33 years.

Author Kim Jin-myeong, on the other hand, is to talk about his period novel “Goguryeo,” which features the lives of six kings of the Goguryeo Kingdom (B.C. 37-A.D. 668). The featured kings include Gwanggaeto the Great (374-413), the 19th monarch of the kingdom whose posthumous name translates to “broad expander of territory.” 

Meanwhile, popular author Seong Seok-je will talk about his latest collection of short stories “Yi Yinganee Jeongmal.” The collection includes a story about a minor car accident and insurance, as well as a story about a Korean tourist going on a trip to Laos.

Seoul Mayor Park, who reportedly loves reading, will attend one of the children’s programs and read books to young readers.

On Friday, Seoul Metropolitan Library will stay open late at night and throw a special event for couples.

“There will be games and quizzes,” said Jung Soo-hee, one of the promoters of the festival. “So the couples will be asked to read excerpts from certain books and be asked questions about them.

“This is a great opportunity to enjoy the library after its working hours.”

Jung said there also is a program specially designed for fathers and their young children.

“A specialist in children’s story narration will give a lecture about how to read stories to little children and get their attention,” she said. “And it’s not just about reading and books. They will get to do other activities together as well, such as drawing and painting.”

For more information about this year’s festival, visit or call (02) 782-8005.

By Claire Lee (