Romance Is A Bonus Book (2019) — An Overview


Romance Is A Bonus Book / Romance Is A Supplement /
Romaenseuneun Byulchaekboorok [로맨스는 별책부록]

(tvN, 2019)

Written by Jung Hyun-jung (정현정), Directed by Lee Jung-Hyo (이정효)
Production company Studio Dragon [스튜디오드래곤 주식회사]

January 26 2019 ~ March 17 2019 [Sat~Sun]
20 episodes

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Is it truly a bonus when a friendship blossoms into romance? For former copywriter Kang Dan-i, her sibling-like friendship with publishing house editor Cha Eun-ho has been anchored on a strong foundation built up over the years — not knowing that Eun-ho has held a torch for her all these years, even while she was married. What happens when she uncovers this chapter? Will she merely turn the page, or will there be a happily ever after? — by Mich KDL


Scriptwriter Jung Hyun-jung

This series stems from Jung Hyun-jung (정현정), the writer of the successful spin-off trilogy, I Need A Romance (tvN, 2011-2014), and marks the second time she’s worked with the series’ director Lee Jung-hyo (이정효), whom she’d teamed up with for the series’ second spin-off, I Need Romance 2012 (tvN, 2012). Jung has been writing K-Dramas constantly since the year 2000. Another notable K-Drama of hers is Discovery of Love (KBS2, 2014).

Director Lee Jung-hyo

Director Lee Jung-hyo (sometimes also Jeong-hyo/이정효), on the other hand, is known for such works as such the recent remake of British series Life on Mars (라이프 온 마스) (OCN, 2018), The Good Wife (굿 와이프) (tvN, 2016), which is also a remake of the same-title American series, Because It’s The First Time/Friends 2015 (처음이라서) (2015, OnStyle), A Witch’s Love / Witch’s Romance (마녀의 연애) (tvN, 2014) and Cruel City / Heartless City/(무정도시) (JTBC, 2013).

His early works include the 2008-09’s Seoul Warrior Story (서울무림전) for MBC DramaNet, Auction House (옥션 하우스) (MBC, 2007) and Fashion 70’s (2005) 패션 70’s (SBS, 2005), which he co-directed. Lee was also the initial co-director of Criminal Minds (크리미널 마인드) (tvN, 2017), a remake of the same-named American series, but left the series due to differences with his co-PD Yang Yoon-ho a week before the broadcast.

His work can be followed on his twitter account: @island4u
— Marion KDL


According to Joan MacDonald at Forbes, it is likely that Romance Is A Bonus Book is a re-make of the 2015 North American television series Younger – produced by Darren Star – which is still on air. The television series itself is based on the self-titled 2005 book by New York Times best selling author Pamela Redmond Satran. The show centers on Liza Miller (played by Sutton Foster), a divorced mother that lies about her age in order to be re-assimilated into the publishing industry. While on the job hunt, she meets younger tattoo artist Josh (Nico Tortorella) who thinks they share the same age.

Note that JTBC announced in December 2018 that they would produce a drama based on this television series in 2020.


Note that this is not the full cast credits for this show — only those mentioned on KDL!


Kang Dan-i (Lee Na-young)
Eun-ho’s best friend and first love;
a divorcee who starts her professional life afresh  

— — — — — — — — — — — — —
Ji Seo-joon (Wi Ha-joon)
Book designer
Park Hoon (Kang Ki-Doong)
Employee at Gyeoroo Publishing,
who joined at the same time as Dan-i

Oh Ji-yool (Park Gyu-Young)
Employee at Gyeoroo Publishing,
who joined at the same time as Dan-i
Cha Eun-ho (Lee Jong-suk)
Writer, literature professor and
chief editor of Gyeoroo Publishing

— — — — — — — — — — — — —
Song Hae-rin (Jung Eugene)
Eun-ho’s hoobae and editor at Gyeoroo Publishing
Kim Jae-min (Kim Tae-woo)
CEO of Gyeoroo Publishing and Eun-ho’s good friend

Romance is a Bonus Book marks Lee Na-young’s (이나영, b. 1979) first drama appearance in nine years since her lead role in 2010’s The Fugitive: Plan B, alongside Rain. She has been married to actor Won Bin (원빈) since 2015.

For Lee Jong-suk (이종석, b. 1989), who is ten years younger in real life than Lee Na-young, this drama was his last before enlisting for his compulsory military service in March 2019. However, this is not his first noona-romance series; in 2013’s I Can Hear Your Voice, he was paired up with the 10-years-older Jang Hye-sung, played by Lee Bo-young (이보영, b. 1979).

Jung Eugene (정유진, b. 1989) and Wi Ha-joon (위하준, b. 1991) already shared the same screen in last year’s Something in the Rain (but not as a potential couple).


Romance Is a Bonus Book (2019, episode 1)

Romance Is A Bonus Book‘s location core centers around Paju Book City [파주출판도시], an area exclusively dedicated to books — from their conception, to sales, and their eventual eradication. K-Dramaland’s most beloved library appears as Gyeoroo Publishing, the publishing house that the key characters work at, along with cafés in the vicinity that are visited by Gyeoroo’s employees. It’s also interesting to note how geographically diverse this drama is; instead of focusing on Seoul like some recent dramas have, it’s instead branched out to other townships in Gyeonggi Province, like Yangyang and Yangju.
— Marion & Mich KDL

This overview will be updated when new locations are added.
Search Romance Is A Bonus Book on KDL for a visual look of all locations.

Last update: 25/08/2019

SEOUL [서울]

Hoegi-dong [회기동]
Kyung Hee University — Seoul Campus [E2]

Cheongdam-dong [청담동]
Miss Gee Collection Headquarters [E1]
Sinsa-dong ]신사동]
Sulwhasoo Flagship Store [설화수 플래그십스토어] [E9]
Yeoksam-dong [역삼동]
A.Y Lounge Bar [에이와이 라운지] [E5]

Neung-dong [능동]
Children’s Grand Park Station [E6]

Hyehwa-dong [혜화동]
House In Mind [마음책방 서가는] [E13]
Sajik-dong [사직동]
Dotori Brothers [도토리브라더스]
Samcheong-dong [삼청동]
Duksung Girls’ High School [E4]

JUNG-GU [중구]
Eulji-ro 1(il)ga [을지로1가]
ARC.N.BOOK — City Hall Store [E11]

MAPO-GU [마포구]
Hapjeong-dong [합정동]
The Void Building [더보이드빌딩] [E11-12]
Seogyo-dong [서교동]
LP Music Bar Gopchangjeongol [E4]
Green Cloud Coffee Shop [E4]
Hongik Children’s Park [E5]
Sinsu-dong [신수동]
Hwasumok [화수목] [E7]
Yeonhui-dong [연희동]
Royal Saloon [로얄싸롱] [E8]
Yeonnam-dong [연남동]
Ji Seo-joon’s House
Thanks, Oat [땡스오트] [E3]

Sinchon-dong [신촌동]
Yonsei University [연세대학교 신촌캠퍼스] [E1]

Seongsu-dong 2(i)-ga [성수동2가]
Soba Sikdang — Seongsu branch [E5]

Yeouido-dong [여의도동]
National Assembly Station [국회의사당역] [E2]
Woonsan Korean Restaurant [E15]

Cheongpa-dong [청파동]
Ssangdaepo Restaurant [쌍대포 본점] [E4]
Hannam-dong [한남동]
Bookpark [북파크] [E3]
Yongsan-dong 2(i)ga [용산동2가]
Byeolcheck Bookstore [별책부록 서점] [E7]


Buk-myeon [북면]
Edentia Pension [에덴시아별장펜션]
Oeseo-myeon [청평면]
HS Ville [HS빌; 에이치에스빌] [E1]


Janghang-dong [장항동]
id Hair [아이디헤어] [E2]
Ilsan Cultural Park [일산문화공원] [E16]


Sipjeong-dong [십정동]
Café Valor [발로] [E11]
SEO-GU [서구]
Gyeongseo-dong [경서동]
Cheongna Sparex [청라스파렉스] [E1]
NAM-GU [남구]
Yonghyeon-dong [용현동]
House Yonghyeon 1il 4sa-dong [용현1.4동] [E7]
Songdo IBD] [송도]
Hwangkumtae — Incheon Songdo Branch [E12]


Munbal-dong [문발동]
Forest of Wisdom [지혜의숲]
Bookcafe Noon [북카페눈] [E2]
Hesse Boulangerie 152 [헤세브랑제리152] [E2]
i-Style Cafe [아이스타일] [E8]
Art Gallery Café [아트갤러리카페] [E9]
— Café Paper Tree [종이와 나무] [E11]
Gwangtan-myeon [광탄면]
The Botanical Garden BCJ [벽초지 문화 수목원] [E16]
Tanhyeon-myeon [탄현면]
Blume Museum of Contemporary Art [E9]
Artinus Farmer’s Table [파머스테이블] [E11]


Unjong-dong [운중동]
Bus Stop Sanun Village 12th Complex [E2]


Maesan-ro 1(il)ga [매산로1가]
The AK Town Suwon [The AK Town 수원] [E9]


Jeonjin-ri [전진리]
Naksan Beach [낙산해변] [E5]
Jucheong-ri [주청리]
Cafe La Mer Bleue [라메블루] [E5]


Seokhyeon-ri [석현리]
Roastery Cafe Double S [카페더블에스] [E2]


Hajapo-ri [하자포리]
Hyundae Supermarket [현대슈퍼마켓] [E1]


Dongbaek-dong [동백동]
— Dongchun175 [동춘175] [E9]



As Romance Is A Bonus Book is a book-centered drama, books are also central to the story.
You can read up in detail on the books in our book compilations Part 1 (Episodes 1-9) and Part 2 (Episodes 10 and 14-15) (or by clicking on the link of each book below).

The Martian [마션] [E3]
Jang Jung-il’s Study [장정일의 공부] [E5]
The Soliloquy I Want You To Hear [너에게들키고싶은혼잣말] [E7-8]
Every Day A Good Day [매일매일 좋은 날] [E8]
Lone Castle in the Mirror [거울 속 외딴 성] [E9]
The Heart Is Drawn To You [음이 살짝 기운다 나태주 신작 시집] [E10]
I want to give you my most beautiful thoughts [가장 예쁜 생각을 너에게 주고 싶다] [E14-15]


As CEO Kim Jae-min (Kim Tae-woo) processes his thoughts during a team meeting, he gets a shock when he hears Cha Eun-ho’s (Lee Jong-suk) response in his head. This non-verbal exchange — which no one in the room notices, of course — is a nod to I Can Hear Your Voice (SBS, 2013), in which Jong-suk was one of the lead actors. — Marion KDL


Music: The Black Skirts, episode 8

On their first bus date to work in episode 8, Seo-joon proposes Dan-i to listen to “Island (Queen of Diamonds)” [섬] by The Black Skirts [검정치마] — from the 2019 album Thirsty. The Black Skirts is a one-man indie-rock band by Jo Hyun-il (also known as Brian Cho) who is based in South Korea. He debuted in 2010 with the album 201 for which he won the ‘Best Modern Rock Album’ at the Korean Music Awards.

Movie: Extreme Job, Episode 12

In episode 12, Eun-ho (Lee Jong-suk) and Kang Dan-i (Lee Na-young) watch the action comedy Extreme Job (극한직업) on their first date

* * *


Locations: Marion KDL, Mich KDL, Thom Musni
Photos: Mich KDL
* * *

Any other information to add? Or any thoughts about the drama and its locations?
Let us know in the comments!

Romance Is A Bonus Book (2019, episode 16)

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