Every time I visit a new country, I always make sure to visit its public library, bookstore, or book cafes. Libraries and bookstores tell you a lot of things about the culture of a country. You can tell if a city promotes a culture of reading by simply looking at its libraries or bookstores. Building Instagram-worthy libraries and bookstores isn’t just about attracting tourists and people for the sake of sales receipts.
It’s about promoting a culture of reading through architecture.
I visited South Korea for the first time in the fall of 2019. I had been to the Seoul Book Repository and wanted to check out the other libraries in Seoul’s Gangnam district during my recent trip.
One of the most iconic libraries in Seoul is Starfield Library.
A Library Inside a Mall
It is a permanent public library inside Starfield COEX Mall. There are more than 50,000 books and magazines on display on their 13-meter tall giant bookshelf. Yes, you heard that right. There’s a giant bookshelf inside the library!
It is an impressive sight to see, even for book-loving travelers like me. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw it myself. The Starfield Library is definitely one of the most Instagrammable libraries in Seoul. You can’t just take selfies with just any bookshelves. It has to be an epic-sized bookshelf!
People love it because it’s so diverse! It’s really an attractive building to look at. I also learned that they change their displays and interior design frequently. So when you visit a year later, you might see a totally different interior design!
Aside from the giant bookshelf, Starfield Library also provides a lot of seating spaces and places where you can read and study. So keep in mind that it is a library first, and respect the other library-goers who are studying or reading quietly.
While I would say that most book titles are in Hangul, you can also find English-language books as well.
I didn’t spend a long time in Starfield Library because I wanted to check out other cool spots in the area. But as a traveler, I definitely recommend making time to visit the Starfield Library.
How to get to Starfield Library
It is located in COEX Mall. You can get there by taking the subway to Samseong Station and taking Exit 6. The subway exit will take you right into the mall. There are signages that would lead you straight up to the first floor of the library.