Inspire

You Have To See Seoul’s Giant New Library

It even has free Wi-Fi.

Seoul’s COEX Mall is the largest underground shopping centre in Asia. With 154 square metres of shops, restaurants, cinemas and an aquarium, it doesn’t reach that feat lightly. Now, COEX Mall can add another huge achievement to its list. A damn fine library, that is.

Malls can be hectic, stressful places. Libraries are the perfect antidote to that; peaceful, pretty, somewhere to gather, study, recalibrate or reflect. COEX Mall‘s newest addition is aiming to provide that respite.

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Starfield Library opened on May 31 and has 50,000 titles to peruse in both print and digital editions. For maximum comfort, there’s also docked iPads and over 200 plush sofas to chill out on. It’s got free Wi-Fi, too. Every traveller’s dream.

 

Starfield Library currently doesn’t have a rental system, but you’re free to lounge around, drink a coffee and read for as long as you like. Most of the books are in Korean but you can find some in English, too. Just ask one of the many visitor guides or at the information centre.

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The library was built as a way to attract more customers to the huge, sprawling mall. Visitors have been steadily declining since 2014, no doubt due to the rise of online shopping. The library will serve as a reminder of how good the shopping IRL experience actually is.

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Well, it’s worked on us. We wanna go there now. And have a look at Asia’s other impressive libraries while we’re at it.

(Lead image: ryun1013/Instagram)