(Originally posted on my 비행기 Tumblr account)
The package my sister and I ordered from Korea (which took quite a while to get here) was supposed to be delivered yesterday, but for some strange reason we missed the mailman. Today we went and picked it up from the post office, so now my Korean novels are here!
(From top to bottom: 냉정과 열정 사이 – Rosso & Blu minibooks; 사랑 후에 오는 것들; 엄마를 부탁해)
Picking those books from a list of the many books I wanted to have was a chore. At first, I wanted to read Guillaume Musso’s 당신, 거기 있어줄래요, but thought that if I should read a novel in Korean I should start with novels that are originally written in Korean (Musso’s French, so naturally, his novels are originally written in French). But guess what? I bought a mix of translated works and novels originally in Korean. 엄마를 부탁해 is written by Shin Kyung-sook, and one of the books making up the novel 사랑 후에 오는 것들 is written by 공지영, but the other three books are by Japanese writers (Tsuji Hitonari wrote half of both 사랑 후에 오는 것들 and 냉정과 열정사이, whereas Ekuni Kaori wrote half of 냉정과 열정사이).
I wanted to buy 내 이름은 김삼순 as well, but apparently it’s already out of print? Hmm. There could still be some copies lying around somewhere, but I didn’t get to buy it. I should’ve bought 커피프린스 1호점 too since it’s quite cheap (it’s sold at Libro for 4900 Korean won–if converted, that’s less that $4.50!). Ah well, maybe I’ll just try and get them some other time.
I’m happy about my purchases, for the most part. I’m giddy to start reading 엄마를 부탁해 in Korean–I wanted to read it for so long (it’s available in English with the title Please Look After Mom) but didn’t because I wanted to get it in Korean first. 사랑 후에 오는 것들 is a novel that wasn’t actually high up in my to-read list, but…I dunno, I just wanted to get it. And when I found that there’s an available set of that plus 냉정과 열정사이 (originally 冷静と情熱のあいだ or Calmi Cuori Appassionati, which I’ve wanted to read ever since finding out about the plot) in mini format, I grabbed the chance to buy it. The minibooks are cute and tiny, about the size of my smartphone and smaller than my Pilot pencil.
Words cannot express just how ecstatic I am at just seeing my books. I’ve always loved reading stories and I love learning Korean, so to have those two things collide is just incredible for me. Of course, it won’t be easy to read these books; I looked at 엄마를 부탁해 and was floored at how many words I don’t know (yet). But it’s okay. I’m going to read everything in my own pace and just enjoy the idea that I’m reading a novel in a language that, for the first…18 years of my life (I think? I don’t really know when I actually really started learning Korean), was something entirely foreign and something I had no care for.