TwoChois is a relatively new online store, and this purchase was my very first from there. For others who have not bought from there before, this is an introduction to my experience with the site 🙂
Ordering process and overall impressions:
Super smooth. Really. You add the things you want to your cart and check out. When you get to check-out, as a first-time customer you create an account with your mail and a password of your choice. You can pay with paypal, credit cards and some options I’ve never heard of before. It took no time, and I experienced no problems. If you choose registered mail, you get the tracking number as soon as it has been assigned – a.k.a. shipped.
Prices are really competitive. I found myself thinking “oooooh, I could also get myself that!” and then decided to rein in my spending urge and stick to one book. For now. I’m considering allowing myself to buy myself a treat every time I finish a Sogang level.
The selection seems to expand every day so I will check in for inspiration quite often and make myself a wishlist for what to buy to celebrate my learning milestones.
I actually ended up paying almost double the price of the book for shipping (choosing the most expensive option since I’m impatient when it comes to my Korean books, I tend to track my orders two times a day as if the parcel would arrive faster for that reason, and the difference between that and airmail wasn’t that much anyway).
The book was $12 (I’m still in awe, I cannot remember the last time I and my wallet got away from a bookshop that easily) while shipping with EMS was $21, but that’s what you get for living on the other side of the globe… Considering the distance this book is travelling, it’s still quite reasonable.
It is possible to look up books not only by category such as grammar/listening/TOPIK, but also by difficulty for regular literature under “books written in Korean”. I think that’s a really great idea since it can be a little difficult to figure out exactly how difficult a book is when you can only see the cover and a few pictures of pages.
Also, if there is a book you’ve been eyeing, you can see app. which level it is and this way know how much work you need to put in before you will be able to read it witout spending a week per page.
If you click to a book from the general overview of all books, you can see on the top of the page which links are associated with that book – basically all links you could possibly have clicked to get to that book. This way you can also see the difficulty of the book. For instance if you look at Reply 1997 you see the following:
Home -> Korean Books -> Reply 1997 (응답하라 1997)
Home -> Korean Books -> Books written in Korean -> Reply 1997 (응답하라 1997)
Home -> Korean Books -> Books written in Korean -> Korea Drama scripts and original pieces -> Reply 1997 (응답하라 1997)
Home -> Korean Books -> Books written in Korean -> Books for advanced level learners -> Reply 1997 (응답하라 1997)
Home -> Books by language -> Reply 1997 (응답하라 1997)
Home -> Korean Books -> Books by language 한국어(Korean) -> Reply 1997 (응답하라 1997)
Categories I would love to see expand/introduced
Because of the focus on dialogues, these can sometimes seem more accessible than many other types of books. Especially for intermediate learners who are not quite equipped for the regular books, but would like to spell their way through some of the books that some movies or dramas are based on.
This category does not exist at this point in time, but I would do a dance of joy if it were introduced. I have a code-free dvd/blueray player and I would love to buy some of the box sets, but finding them can be a real hassle. As long as there are official English subtitles, I don’t have any preference for whether the dvd’s are made for region 1 (US and Canada) or 3 (Asia). I have yet to see a region 2 (Europe) box set…
Yes, Amazon has some, but for some of the dramas only private sellers have offers, which frankly come across as a bit shady most of the time. It’s just more reassuring if the subtitles are officially listed in the product description rather than in the title (“good English subs”), the cover photo might be part Chinese while official posters from the drama are not, and who wants to pay some random guy $169 for a drama from 2005???
If there were dramas on TwoChois I wouldn’t have second thoughts about placing the order.
Saturday 1 June:
After browsing around TwoChois, I finally convince myself that passing the TOPIK is enough of an occasion to treat myself and buy a new Korean book. Really excited I placed my order after breakfast – which would make it about 16:30 In Korea.
Monday 3 June:
At app. 16:30 Danish time which would make it 1:30 in Korea(!!!): I receive a mail that the order is “awaiting fulfillment” and that it should be shipped Wednesday latest.
Tuesday 4 June:
Morning (4:40 Danish time so about 11:40 in Korea): I receive a mail with my tracking number. The parcel is officially on its way!
Wednesday 5 June:
Morning: The parcel is registered as “arrived” at some international post center in Korea.
Afternoon: The parcel leaves Korea
Friday 7 June:
Noon-ish: the parcel is registered in an international post center in Denmark (I suppose that would be the airport/customs in Copenhagen). From this point it’s up to the Danish post… Let’s see if they can match the Koreans on this one!
Evening: the parcel has left the airport and has been registered in a post center in Copenhagen. It seems it will spend the weekend there…
Monday 10 June:
Eeeeearly morning: the parcel arrives at a distribution center.
Noon: it arrives!