The cell phone- that portable electronic wonder that’s always in our pockets, can carry vast amounts of reading material. If we happen to travel somewhere with decent WiFi (or unlimited data), we have, literally, entire libraries in our fingertips. It’s awesome we can easily pull up something to read when caught by an unexpected wait, and the minimized environmental impact of digital vs. paper is a bonus. Yet for all that convenience, there’s still something irreplaceable in the feel, the smell, and the sensation of flipping pages while reading. A well-read favorite paperback still bends and folds to fit a pocket or purse, and brings a sense of home wherever we happen to stop. On a recent visit with our adult Vunderkinds in Columbus, OH, they suggested visiting their favorite bookstore- a stop we could not resist!
A sunny September day was perfect for a stroll through Columbus’ historic German Village, birthplace of Eddie Rickenbacker. A once proud neighborhood that fell so far as to face demolishment by the city in the 1950s, the neighborhood has been renovated and restored to one of more beautiful places to live in the Columbus area. We visited Schmidt’s famous Sausage Haus for lunch, and Schmidt’s Fudge Haus for desert. Both excellent, but the highlight of our walk was independent book shop, The Book Loft of German Village. What could be better than thirty-two rooms full of bargain books to lose yourself in?
And lose ourselves we did. Two brick pathways lead to a quaint courtyard surrounded by gorgeous gardens, and the entrance to The Book Loft. The courtyard also has a large selection of books beneath an awning, before even entering the store itself. Once in the store, you feel like either the kid in a candy store or a rat in a maze, depending upon perspective. The store is packed, crowded and labyrinthine in layout. Maps are posted to give an idea of what each of the 32 rooms contain, but discovery is half the fun. Upstairs, downstairs, left, right, and through, finding a selection of books of nearly any genre or subject. A variety of music was playing in several rooms, adding further separation to the different areas. While I was thrilled by the vast collection of books, I do have to admit to being a bit anxious when I reached the far end at the top floor, and realized I had no idea how to find the exits and I had just walked a long aisle away from one set of stairs- and this after noticing someone had blocked one of the few emergency exits by parking their stroller in front of the door outside. A bit of discomfort to go with a big dose of incredible!
Eventually, we did find our way back to the long (though efficient) checkout line with a few books in hand. Once back outside, we realized a function of the courtyard is to allow one to calm and catch their breath. The Book Loft is an absolute wonder, but I might think twice if I suffered claustrophobia! That said, if you happen to be near Columbus, I would definitely recommend a walk through German Village, a meal at one of the well-regarded local establishments, and a few hours spent exploring The Book Loft. Consider it an afternoon well spent!
Keep Riding Local, Dreaming Global, and we’ll see you on the road- Enjoy!