The Urantia Book in Korea: News on Korean Distribution and the Korean Book Fair

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Jay Peregrine
2013 Seoul International Book Fair
Urantia Book booth
2013 Seoul International Book Fair

By Jay Peregrine, executive director, Urantia Foundation, Chicago, Illinois, United States

In June I traveled to Seoul, South Korea to attend the 2013 Seoul International Book Fair, which was co-sponsored this year by Urantia Foundation and the Urantia Book Fellowship. There were opportunities to meet with the Foundation’s distributors, to interview prospective printers, to research the Korean book industry, and to meet and mingle with Korean Urantia Book readers.

Arrangements for the booth were made by Sy Chang, who has manned a booth at the fair for 13 years. The beautiful posters and handouts were designed by Jisoo Han. Buck Weimer and Barry Clark were the Urantia Book Fellowship’s representatives at the fair, and they spent their days talking to passers-by about The Urantia Book.

Attendance at the fair was reported to be about 110,000, down 10% from last year. The fair was crowded in the evenings and on the weekend. A lot of young people attend the fair because they can buy books at a discount.

Book sales in Korea dropped 25% in 2012. So the Korean book industry is being challenged similarly to the challenges the US book industry has faced in recent years.

I traveled to Anyang City, south-east of Seoul, to tour the printing presses of one of the largest printers in Korea. Having visited printing plants in the US, Canada, and Europe over the years, the Korean approach which combines low cost with high quality was very impressive.

Traveling by subway to attend a study group, I was able to answer questions about Urantia Foundation and some of the history of the book. After the fair was over, we all attended an introduction to The Urantia Book meeting at which Buck Weimer spoke, followed by questions and answers.

After that meeting, the translators present talked about working cooperatively towards one excellent Korean translation. We have a lot of work to do to achieve that goal, and there is no guarantee of success. But the spirit of cooperation is evident, and we shall build on that.

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