S. Korea's Small Bookshops Find 'Their Own Profitable Niche'

Noting that "a growing number of Koreans are hunting for books at small yet specialized bookstores," the Korea Herald reported that "while large bookstores continue to dominate the market, small players are discovering their own profitable niche." Research indicates about one out of four small bookstores in the country in 2017 had been in business for less than a year, and most featured specific themes, including mystery stories, cats, poets, beers, travel and psychology.

"The store's compact space allows guests to initiate a conversation with the staff more easily, compared to the large bookstore chains," said Yoo Soo-young, owner of Mystery Union.

A "Today's bookshelf" in the poetry bookstore Wit n Cynical "shows the books selected by its owner and poet Yoo Hee-kyung, depending on his mood of the day," the Herald wrote.

Schrodinger, which features has more than 500 books solely focused on cats, has "garnered great popularity among cat owners in Korea," the Herald noted, adding that it "also sells various stationery items related to cats while exhibitions take place on one side of a wall with the theme changing every three weeks." Schrodinger regularly organizes events like "How to draw cats"; "How to overcome pet loss"; "How to take a good picture of cats"; "How to make cat-related goods"; and "How to write cat-related books."

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