Saturday, September 27, 2008
The Book Loft
If you ever find yourself with an afternoon in Columbus, OH, get a map and make your way down to the Book Loft in the German Village area. I've only been to a handful of bookstores that so successfully capture the pleasure of browsing. We spent Saturday afternoon here, and we'd just purchased a new camera, so I had a good time.
The 32 cluttered rooms, packed from floor to ceiling, are arranged by topic with the music in each room catering to the authors housed there. Occasionally, two rooms will be so small and close to each other that the music clashes. While this was annoying at first, we eventually commented on the feeling that the books themselves were speaking, almost trying to be heard over one another. So the Poozies might get an audience with someone camped in the sci-fi room while John Williams might gain a fan perusing the Celtic nook. And if you stand in the juxtaposition long enough, you have to consider that perhaps there's a connection between the Irish experience and outer space travel.
Some rooms are more organized than others, but in the extensive maze that makes this independent bookstore so charming and such a tourist attraction, I can only imagine it's staffed primarily by a handful of part-timers. For them to stay on top of shelving would be a full time job for at least 4 people. And I found some satisfaction in doing my part sorting out and organizing the works of my own favorite authors. If I lived closer, I think I'd probably volunteer a Saturday out of every month just to walk through and correct the shelves.
We will come here again. If you ever visit us and are a lover of books, we'll be sure to bring you here as well.