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Book Loft

Lose yourself in labyrinth of literature


In an age of electronic books and easy ordering of the written word over the Internet, it’s nice to break away from literary progress by wandering through a good, old-fashioned bookstore.

The Book Loft in the Columbus neighborhood of German Village spans a city block and contains 32 of rooms of literature, organized by topic, including a room full of hand-selected children’s books. It’s billed as one of the largest independent bookstores in the nation, stocking more than 100,000 titles.

My family and I visited the store at 631 S. Third Street while showing my sister-in-law, Mary Jean, around historic German Village. Mary Jean lives in San Francisco, home of the iconic City Lights Bookstore, once a hangout of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. Mary Jean, a travel writer and budding novelist, was impressed by the unique selection and interesting, connecting buildings, which were once general stores, a saloon and a nickelodeon cinema.

Sometimes it takes an out-of-towner to remind us of the gems we have in central Ohio. Mary Jean enjoyed exploring the labyrinth of book-filled rooms, while my 5-year-old daughter delighted in following yellow arrows on the ground toward the children’s section. We browsed kiosks of Little Golden Books and shelves of newer titles. But, alas, Rosie settled on an activity book with nifty erasers shaped like desserts.

German Village has long been one of Columbus’ main visitor attractions, and for many tourists and locals, the Book Loft is the village’s main chapter.

For more information, visit www.bookloft.com.