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Tried and True: The Book Loft of German Village

The bargain book tables near the front entrance
The demise of the brick and mortar bookstore has been a constant theme for the past two decades or so, from the big guys (Borders, who declared bankruptcy in 2011; Barnes & Noble are going through their own store closures) to their smaller, independent counterparts (I recall sadly when Stacey's Bookstore on Market St. In San Francisco closed its doors in 2009 after 85 years of operation.)

I may eventually buy one of those e-reader devices one of these days, but for me there's nothing like the feel of a book in your hands.  Maybe it goes back to my younger days when I could hang out at the school's library and grab whatever book caught my attention on the shelves.  Some days, I felt like I could perch myself at a table and read books and magazines until they kicked me out of the building.

If I didn't have to work for a living and had nothing else better to do here in Columbus, I'd might hang out all day at this town's treasure of a bookstore: The Book Loft of German Village.

No time for acrophobia now...
Mrs. 614orty-Niner introduced me to this place fairly early on while we were still long-distance dating. During that first visit, and every time since, I walk by folks perched around and "hanging out" with their preferred literature of the day. As this place purposefully does not have free wi-fi, the encouragement is there to put away what most people think of now as a mobile informational device and replace it with the old-school version of the concept. And The Book Loft has plenty of examples of the latter within their 32 rooms.

The interior of the Book Loft, cobbled together from a series of pre-Civil War era buildings that included a saloon and nickelodeon cinema, sets the right mood to get lost in your reading material.  One could find a map or directory to determine where things are, but I prefer to go in blind and (re-)figure out where things are:

In case you get lost...but I think it's more fun to get lost at the Book Loft myself
In many ways, the space reminds me of my days when I lived with my grandparents' house back in San Francisco in the 1970s. I found all sorts of new books and other reading materials laying around that kept my knowledge-seeking brain quite sated. I remember one of my most favorite finds was a little book telling the stories of some of the U.S.A.'s great Summer Olympics athletes like sprinter Wilma Rudolph, swimmer Johnny Weissmuller, and Ohio State University's very own Jerry Lucas.  At The Book Loft, reading material abounds as well as other products that will awaken and please the minds of both child and adult alike.


Another aspect of living at my grandparents' house that fascinated me as a kid was the little nooks, crannies, and "secret" rooms within, as well as the indoor and outdoor stairways.  Even when I knew where most everything was, I would somehow still be surprised by discovering something I hadn't noticed before in their house. The Book Loft's interior encourages that spirit of discovery in all its patrons:

Move on, or hang out? Hmmm...
Suffice it to say, The Book Loft really brings the kid out in me, and reminds me of the sanctuary of sorts I always was able to find as a younger lad in the school or neighborhood library. Maybe one of these days, the inexorable march of technological progress may send the traditional bookstore as a whole the way of the dinosaur. But until that day, I will continue to take advantage of the opportunity to step inside these doors as often as I can and completely lose myself.

The Book Loft of German Village
631 South 3rd St. (German Village - Google Maps)
Columbus, OH 43206
(614) 464-1774
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