An elderly lady named Gwon O-nam (83) has run the Dae-O second-hand bookstore since 1951. The name Dae-O is derived from her husband’s name (“Dae”) and her own name (“O”). The bookstore is located in a back alley to the west of Gyeongbokgung Palace. The old signboard, the old-fashioned sliding door, and the cramped space make visitors feel as if they are back in the 1950s. Ms. Gwon says that the store enabled her to send all of her six children to college. But now things have changed a lot. Running a second-hand book store in this section of town is not very profitable.
In addition to the bookstore, there are several other places in this part of town that still retain traces of fifty or sixty years ago, such as Assi Gojeon Euisangsil (a traditional costume store), Hyojadong Ibalso (a barber’s), and Yeonghwaru (a Chinese restaurant).