天高馬肥(High sky and plump horses)
The fall is called the season of high sky and plump horses in Korea. This means fall has mild weather for doing something. Fall is the season of reading books. Turn off your computer and read a book. Feel the sunshine in the library and be romantic.
- The way to take interest in reading.
1. Read an easy book.
If you are not interested in books, it is difficult to read a hard book the first time.Read an entertaining book in your realm. The thickness of the book doesn’t matter. Just think that you are going to read one whole book, even if it is thin. Fantasy novels can be a good genre. Even though fantasy novels have somewhat absurd stories to arouse readers’ interest, there are still the authors’ thoughts and lessons. We have a prejudice that fantasy novels are lowbrow but they are a genre of literature. Begin reading an easy book to foster curiosity and move on to a harder one.
2. Read original books from movies, soap operas, and plays.
Plenty of books are adapted for movies, soap operas, and plays. The Harry Potter series, The Da Vinci Code, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button are based on books. The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince and My Name is Kim Sam-sun are also soap operas adapted from books. If you read original books, you can find some parts that were unexpressed. Approaching the original is easy because you know the whole story.
3. Make a group.
In your mind, you want to read books, but doing everything by yourself is difficult and at last you give up. There are ways for taking forceful steps. Like a study group! Make a group with friends who are congenial to you. Choose one book in a week. Read it and discuss. Through discussions, you can find new and different things and have the time for meditation. It is group work, so you have to feel responsible for reading so as not to damage to group.
- E-book; the revolution of reading
Knowledge has been passed down in the form of paper since papyrus was developed in ancient Egypt. However, as electronic technology has drastically developed these days, the electronic book (E-book), which is a new way of reading by electronic device, has emerged in the world.
E-book is a general term for books that can be viewed using an electronic device by recording writings and images in it. We can buy e-books at a low price since the costs of production and distribution are cheaper when compared with paper books. In addition, we are allowed to do many other things aside from reading; we can edit the contents, zoom in/out and send it to our friends via e-mail, which means we can log in on internet. Perhaps to your surprise, you can read it outside whenever you want by using a portable device.
The E-book has evolved through three steps. In the beginning, it started through offering only texts. Text-based E-books can hold many books and be read via diverse devices. But, they were too monotonous to attract many people. Then, image-based E-books appeared in public. Since they showed the same view of scanned pages, we could feel like we were reading a real book. Images, video and music were also available in them. Flash-based E-books, a recent version of e-book we widely use, offer animation and high quality reading. What’s particularly interesting is that we can search for the contents we want by keyword.
The E-book market is expanding its body in the world at present. In America, Amazon's Kindle and Sony's E-book lead and form the market. The recently released iPad can also be regarded as an E-book. Even though the E-book market in Korea is sluggish, it will soon be activated with the worldwide upward trend.
- Short interview (Lee Jun-hyeok, freshman, The Dept. of Animal Science.)
The E-book is amazing, rather a revolution. Isn't it surprising so many books are in such a little device? I often read a novel using my electronic dictionary. It is so useful and convenient that I can read books even in the subway! However, it is a shame that I cannot throw out a device after reading the E-book. Anyway, the E-book is one of the greatest inventions.
- Have you read it? ; The most frequently borrowed books in the school library over three months (April to June).
If you’ve decided to go to the library for your reading, you may be curious what people are mainly looking for. What books do students really want to read? These are the three most popular books among students:
1. The Greatest Swordsman
This book is the one of the major works among martial arts novels. The background is the Song Dynasty in China. The storyteller is both comic and satirical. The hero, who is a handsome boy, has an eccentric character. He loves money very much and doesn’t involve himself in worthless work. Here is one thing different from other novels -- he is rude! He learned martial arts from his freakish teacher since he was a 10-year-old orphan. In the year when he is 20, he steals the teacher’s treasures and runs away from teacher secretly. He begins to have a great adventure in the martial arts world against evil.
He is a real hero that no one can match at all, and he hardly knows any limits in the world. Our everyday life, on the contrary, is usually stuffed up with many actual problems: money, love, depression, unemployment and things like this. What if you could be a hero or Superman? It is a comparison between the real and fantasy. The hero is an outstanding problem-solver with wits when going through hardships. Whether you like him or not, many readers agree that he has a charming point. That’s why people like this book. It is a valuable piece to be read for readers looking for pleasure or for vicarious satisfaction.
Sikgaek, whose writer had spent 3 years preparing to produce various recipes, was serialized successfully in The Dong-A Ilbo for nine years from the year 2000 until at last, it reached its end.With thorough profiling, interviews and inquiry of recipe sources, the writer opened up a new era of specialty cartoons including elaborate stories and detailed psychological descriptions. In 2003, this cartoon was adapted to a popular story book. Sikgaek is not the usual cooking cartoons that only children read for fun and self-satisfaction, but is instead a hit item that makes readers understand expert knowledge of cooking while cartoons give humors and strong impressions. Actually, more than a million copies have been sold.
The total episodes of the 27 books are independent from each other. Each episode is basically a story of foods and cooking. However, the attractive main theme is about emotional family love above all. Food became a traditional culture, which was formed by the custom, story and circumstance that ordinary folks in a specific region made gradually. It is significant, then, that the first episode is The Rice of Mother.
Today, people look for instant foods. Sikgaek teaches us that food has developed in the heart and with love, not only to survive for ourselves but to share with family, friends and lovers also.
3. Han River
The epic novel Han River covers 30 years of modern history of Korea, from the long-term seizure of power by Seung-man Rhee and the 4.19 Revolution to the 5.16 Coup with Park Chung-hee before The May 18 Democratic Uprising. It ferrets out the shade and light of Korea in the days that governments focused on national development for getting out of massive starvation. The writer relates to us bravely that the situations of those days could have been our parents’ neighbors’, or friends’ stories.
The books, which total ten volumes, begin with the main characters crossing the Han River and end crossing it again. This is dramatic. Many characters experience those historic occasions themselves or take on the third parties in that long term between the two crossings (about 30 years).
Miracle on the Han River! It is a phrase that means a great success of the modern history of Korea upon economic development. We can face, however, the shadows surrounding cozy relations within powers and the suppression of freedom of speech with the merciless actions for a privileged class. Reading this book can help us imagine how miserable we may have been, living through such ordeals.
-Students’ book trends
Students are busy now. They are interested in reference books for tests like TOEIC, TOFEL, and other various licenses. Their chief concern is getting a job in the unemployment crisis. They say briefly that there is no time to read books. They do not talk about books, but assignments. And the average amount of students’ reading is one to three books per a month. Those books are chiefly novels and how-to books. Who or what is the most responsible for this?
Now, you realize that there are interactive and technological ways for reading, as we mentioned. You may still prefer reading paper books, but you can have better time reading with high-tech devices. Even if you are not likely to read a book even now, cheer up! It's not much to get disappointed about. Fall still remains ahead.
天高馬肥(High sky and plump horses)