The Book Loft of German Village is an independent bookstore in the German Village neighbourhood of Columbus, Ohio. It was started by former teachers Carl Jacobsma and Roger Tompkins in 1977 in a mall. At the time of its opening, it was a small set-up with a loft at the top, from where it got its name; with time, they were able to expand the store, but it took them 15 years to do that.
The store is one of the largest independent bookstores in the US, with over 500,000 books in stock and close to a million volumes available during the Christmas holiday season. The store is beautifully laid out with a garden and benches where book lovers can soak themselves in their current read.
It is a 32-room store with a map to guide book lovers around the massive space. It has been described as a literary labyrinth due to the maze-like rooms connected by narrow passageways and staircases full of books. An interesting piece is that they have eighteen music systems which play different music to create a genre-specific soundtrack in each area. Apart from books, they also sell jigsaw puzzles, posters and other merchandise.
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They regularly host events like author readings and author signings and sponsor off-site events like comic book conventions. They have had their share of financial ups and downs but continue to lead the space of independent bookselling. Despite everything, they provide a discount on every book they sell.
Also Read: The Dying Habit Of Reading The Book Loft has been described by The New York Times as a national treasure and is indeed an iconic store and a popular tourist destination.