Here’s to another kdrama I finished watching this week.
Romance Is A Bonus book was aired in 2019, the last drama Lee Jong Suk filmed right before his military enlistment. Since I’m sold with anything that’s got to do with books, authors, publishers, and of course romance, I gave this a shot. Glad I wasn’t disappointed.
Kang Dan-i was a different level of miserable. Divorced, practically homeless, and without a job, how could she survive and raise her daughter who I’ve only seen and heard twice in the entire 16 episodes? To be fair, she tried so hard to find and claim her own space in the world of advertising. However, coming off of a 7-year career break, who’d want to believe that she could still survive the fast-changing, ever innovative industry? If this drama was aired three years ago and I’ve seen it, I might have had stayed as a freelancer. I wouldn’t even think of updating my resumè and I’d choose to keep my pride what ever happens. When I decided to get employed again, I was also coming off of a 5-year career break due to medical reasons. Plus, I came from the BPO industry that had a totally different work setup and culture. Needless to say, my chances of getting a regular 9-5 in the corporate world were slim. Whether my 5-year blogging experience influenced my luck in getting the website content coordinator post is beyond me, but who knows?
This isn’t the first “I love noona” drama I’ve seen – Something In The Rain (Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food) almost has the same premise. I’m not sure what’s so charming about younger men, generally speaking. But the younger men I know are passion-driven with the hunger to constantly prove themselves, and I mean this in a good way. They are open to the fact that women could and should have the power and the place in the world where men in suits usually reign. This is probably the reason why Eun-ho insists that Dan-i shouldn’t accept the low-paying Task Support Team job and perform menial jobs given her true educational background and career history. Younger men are like that – they more supportive, and they usually don’t have the ego that’s so swollen it has become bigger than their brains. Again, probably the reason why career-oriented older women end up with them.
Fall in love with a guy…
Never fall in love with a writer. Don’t say you weren’t warned. Because he will tell you the words you’d want to hear, right when you want to hear them. He’d comfort you with the things he say and try to be there for you when you’re sad, hurt, and probably drunk. Until your heart flutters in his smile. Until your feet brings you to him whenever you’re feeling lonely. You wouldn’t know where or when, or how it started. And when he finally understands how you feel about him, he’d break your heart. He’d write you a letter, and tell you how wonderful and perfect and beautiful you are, that he doesn’t doubt you’d find someone who is more worthy of your attention. His words will be the death of your heart.
Falling in love with a nice guy could be worse, though. The nice guy who’d sacrifice his sleep and run to you when you need him. He’d rather sleep on the floor as long as you’re comfortable in his bed. He’d offer himself to be your friend when he walks by and sees you all alone and seemingly crying on a table for two in his favorite restaurant. Until you start caring about him. You’d sit right outside his door all day and night when he’s upset and refuse to come out. You start stealing food from your mom’s refrigerator and bring them to him. Good thing he says he’d be your romance book – the book you’d rather be with than go on a blind date.
The writing and publishing industry
Gyeoroo Publishing is one bloody battlefield. I guess the entire writing and publishing industry is like that. Being an author doesn’t just begin and end in writing and finishing an entire manuscript. Your manuscript needs to be evaluated. It doesn’t just need to be good. For the publishers, it has to sell. Then it has to be edited thoroughly. A group of people would try to find ways on how to make your book appeal to the market. Another group of people would try to get copies of your book for free, write a little bit about it in their blogs after reading the synopsis you provided. Customers finally check out your book, tearing the plastic covers and leave it raw in the store. Lucky if they buy a copy, in which case they’re going to ask for a sealed one. The bookstore’s damaged copies go back to the publisher to be shredded and ruined. There goes a part your soul. Heartbreaking, but true on so many levels.
The book metaphor is what I am living for in this drama. When Dan-i referred to Eun-ho as the book she always reaches out when she’s lost and confused, but instead of clarity she’s now confronted with words and sentences she’s never read from there before. And my favorite – when Ji Seo-joon said he wanted to be a romance novel for Hae-rin.
Romance Is A Bonus Book taught me to be a book, and I want to be that book that he’d like to pick up when he’s too tired of all the things he’s required to read. I’d be worn and dog-eared on pages where the words provide most comfort during long and lonely nights. I’d be that book cradled in his arms when he finally falls asleep. That book.
Watch the series so you’d see for yourself. I’ll be on my third drama this ECQ season so we can talk about the ones you’ve watched in the comments section.
Keep your sanity, kids! Watch kdramas.