Tour the Store
Willkommen to The Book Loft of German Village!
TOUR THE STORE | BOOK LOFT HISTORY
Experience a Dreamworld for Booklovers unlike any other, unique in ambiance, location and the labyrinth of 32 rooms. “The Loft” is in Columbus, Ohio’s German Village, next to Stauf’s Coffee Roasters. It resides in Pre-Civil War era buildings, giving it the historical charm that brings people to the center of Columbus. When visiting, allow plenty of time to browse a store that stretches a city block long.
The brick path off South Third Street, colorfully landscaped in the warm seasons, brings you closer to the world of books that makes The Book Loft famous.
Another approach from the West side of the block on City Park Avenue, the walkway is no less a journey for the senses. Flowers in an array of colors mixed in between the trees with the brick buildings form a backdrop that brings charm to this area of Columbus.
The Book Loft's courtyard runs adjacent to the building and has been a restful oasis for tourists and locals for decades. Flowers and fountains add to the charm, and park benches, scattered down the brick path, allow visitors to take time to enjoy the surroundings. During fall, winter, and spring, the courtyard remains open.
The central courtyard features outdoor merchandise and long tables full of clearance and "hurt” books marked with greatly reduced prices, making this a very popular browsing area on a sunny day. "A World of Books for Young & Old" can be found under the magnolia tree. The porch, loaded with stacks of deeply discounted popular titles, hints at the wonders inside The Book Loft.
The main entrance from the porch leads to a maze of books and specialty items. It’s a good idea to pick up one of the store maps, which show the areas of interest featured in each of the 32 rooms. The Book Loft staff is also available to help navigate the store.
Follow the steps up into general fiction and the bestsellers sections. The stairways are lined with bookmarks and merchandise, especially book-themed gifts for the bibliophile
The Book Loft features unique greeting cards, the largest collection of jigsaw puzzles in the Midwest, bins of posters, and the latest popular and classic board games. Music available for sale plays on 18 sound systems throughout the store, featuring prominent names in adult contemporary and great vintage artists in genres like blues, jazz, swing and big bands.
Although The Book Loft stocks a vast selection of non-book items, make no mistake, the books are the star of the show! The Book Loft discounts ALL paperbacks as well as hardcovers. The vast stock of bargain books is generally discounted 50 - 90% off original prices. Many of these bargain books are not stocked by other chain bookstores or even found on other bookselling websites, especially at these prices! All books are NEW, NEVER USED.
Each room of The Book Loft has a different theme.
The Lower West Wing entrance leads into rooms 1-7, which cover new arrival bargain books, graphic novels, health and home, and a sprawling collection of cookbooks.
Up the stairs to the Upper West Wing’s rooms 8-13, there is fiction by genre, reference books, and the classics.
Past the new arrivals and bestsellers in room 14, the rest of the Upper East Wing’s rooms 15-25 cover the lion’s share of nonfiction titles – including biographies, business, history, science, and art.
Along with spiritual categories and philosophy, down the stairs into the Lower East Wing’s 26-32 are 5 full rooms of one of the largest collection of children’s books found in a general interest independent bookstore.
Long corridors full of books make The Book Loft an experience for anyone interested in finding a book about any subject imaginable. It’s possible to get lost in this labyrinth of rooms.
Once again, out past the courtyard, down this brick path, it’s time to say 'goodbye’ until the next visit. Whether it is for a specific book or item, or just to browse through the 32 rooms, you'll find The Book Loft has a charm and magic all its own.
Book Loft History
After the success of their Village Owl gift shop on City Park Ave, Roger Tompkins and Carl Jacobsma joined the Marianplatz gallery of shops at 631 South Third St. They opened The Book Loft of German Village in 1977. Co-owner Russ joined them in 1981.
The Book Loft of German Village Founders
Russ, Carl and Roger
German Village Oktoberfest, early 1980's
In order to become the 32-room destination in German Village the store is today, The Book Loft has been through 8 expansions since starting with only 3 rooms. As it expanded, room by room, more books, more cards and more of the things that make The Book Loft a pleasure to visit were added.
For a more complete look at the history of 631 South Third Street and The Book Loft’s beginnings, click the link below to read an excerpt from John Clark’s book, German Village Stories – Behind the Bricks.
Forty-one years and going...
Pre-1977 631 South Third Street
Teacher, Writer, Businessman, Partner & Friend
Roger Dee Tompkins 1944 - 2012