Last week John and Jackie took us to what might be one of the most delightful places on earth: The Book Loft of German Village in Columbus Ohio. Before Tom and I moved into the RV we had thousands of books in our house. We winnowed and purged but we still have cupboards full of books in the RV. Boxes of books are just about the only thing we stored at John and Jackie’s. I also have hundreds of books on my iPad, although it has taken me a while to get used to reading on the electronic pad.
We love books. I once saw a t-shirt that perfectly described my feelings: “It’s not hoarding if it’s books!” Consequently, we love old-fashioned bookstores with books crammed in every nook, inviting you to wander from one section to another.
The Book Nook is this old-fashioned kind of bookstore. It is appropriately located in German Village, in a sprawling complex that used to be a general store, a saloon, and a nickelodeon theater. The bookstore goes on and on. Bookshelves of every description are stuck in every available space. In fact, The Book Nook seems to be designed for the books and not for the people: most of the aisles are so narrow only one person can move through at a time.
A Book Loft Directory is available, but these make the bookstore look much more orderly than it is. The directory makes you think the layout is rectangular and it is not. The books are roughly divided into sections in the 32 rooms. I found the knitting section and could have stayed in that one spot for hours (can you say every book on knitting ever written?). Unfortunately that room was the best heated in the whole store and I couldn’t stand to be in there for more than 15 minutes. It was a relief to head to the other rooms that were cooler.
There are used and new books. Book that are signed by the authors are mixed in with everything else. The books are every size and style crammed together on the same shelves. I was tempted to stay in front of one shelf until I looked at every book in the section before moving on.
Mixed in among the books are hundreds of puzzles, most set on the top shelf. When I pulled a couple down to look at them, I reached as high as I could on my tiptoes, stretching until I got a finger on it and could pull it down. How wonderful to be in a place that has books as high up as I can reach! There are also gift bags and even specialty food items placed randomly among the books. T-shirts, games and other fun gift items are scattered throughout the store. In fact, anytime you wear a Book Loft t-shirt into the store, you get 10% off any purchase.
The Book Loft is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. Tom had to drag me out of the store and I can’t wait to go back. Tom is discouraging me from returning however – I think he knows how dangerous it is to reawaken my bibliophile compulsions.
I know I will go back to the Book Loft. The rooms of books are calling to me. Who knows what wonders I might discover as I wander among all those books?