"What kind of book are you looking for?" is the bookmaster`s first question to the customer who wanders around the bookstore. "A bookmaster is a counselor about books. We can recommend a book for a customers` request or level" said Shin Gil-rye, bookmaster at Kyobo bookstore in Gwanghwamun. Bookmaster is the first job in the world to be born in Kyobo bookstore. The Bookmaster has a short history that appeared only five years ago. For this reason there are not many bookmasters so far. However, the enormous amount of published books and demand for people with expert knowledge about books have made the number of bookmasters increase.
The Kyobo bookstore consists of 19 sections: Economy, Literature, Science and so on. There is a bookmaster in each section. The bookmaster is different from employees who just help to look for books and manage books. They provide customers with the most highly recommended book every month. They have a conference with each other for selecting the best book. "Customers prefer to let them recommend books every month.
That`s why we are serious about our choice" said Shin Gil-rye. They also lead events held in the bookstore and manage other workers. Of course, they do basic work such as arranging books and helping customers to find books too. When asked if there is some difficulty in working as a bookmaster, she asserted "No" "There is no hard work such as moving heavy objects here. Working times are divided into two shifts. I am happy being surrounded by many books. Besides, no one has complained about the salary level and all bookmasters have been treated well in the bookstore" said Shin Gil-rye.
To be a bookmaster you have to become a member of the company. After working in Kyobo for 4 or 5 years, you will have a chance to be trained as a bookmaster. Finally, if you pass the training program, you can become a bookmaster. "Above all, you have to widen your knowledge of books" said Shin Gil-rye.
She also emphasized that it is important to read newspapers and have a positive attitude. "You need to seriously read newspapers to be a bookmaster because a bookmaster should have strong abilities in speaking and writing skills. In addition, being a bookmaster is a kind of service industry job. That`s because you should always smile and have a positive demeanor" said Shin Gil-rye.
She hopes the bookstore will become a cultural space as well as a place to sell books. In this regard, we can feel that she is proud of her job. Finally, NEWS@UOS is impressed with her last words "Maybe this is my vocation", she said with a smile. She recommended UOS students read `Consideration` and `Marshmallow.` "These books can encourage you to be more enthusiastic" she added.