Paju Book City, located in Gyoha-eup, is a cultural complex entirely devoted to the creation, publication, merchandising and sales of Korean books. The “city” belongs to Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. Paju Book City is home to 250 publishers with over 10,000 workers. It covers the entire process of publishing from planning to printing and distribution and is home to a large number of book cafes and bookstores. Paju Book city is about an hour’s drive north of Seoul, and sits directly alongside the 38th Parallel. Approximately 250 companies have offices in this complex which spreads across 215 acres (875,000 meters2). These firms employ generate over $1 billion in annual sales. As of the end of 2014 the city will be nearly doubled in size as 300 more publishing and printing companies have plans to move to Paju Book City.
The Telegraph described the role of Paju Book City as:
Korea’s publishing world is concentrated in Paju Book City, an hour’s drive north of Seoul. Inspired by Hay-on-Wye, Paju is a turbocharged version of the town of books. Two hundred publishers jostle in gleaming glass buildings above a plethora of bookshop cafés. At the weekend, I was told, it’s packed with literary-minded Koreans.
Inside Paju Book City books outnumber people by a ratio of 20:1. Korean books are often sold from the ground floor of publishing companies in the city, but there are also several good used bookstores, at least two of which feature books in languages other than Korean. The city also contains unusual art galleries, book cafes, one guesthouse, and specialized exhibition spaces.There is also a playground for children, as well as an adjacent Premium Shopping Outlet.