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This U.S. Bookstore Requires a Map to Navigate

by Aoife O'Riordan

Jul 9, 2024

© OSP Images

Destinations / North America

Where can you find one of the country’s largest independent bookstores? A store requiring a map to navigate its 32 rooms? The Book Loft can be found in Columbus, Ohio, where more than 125,000 titles await exploration. Located in the German Village neighborhood of the city, this bookstore opened in 1977 and has been described as a “literary labyrinth” by many visitors.

 

Within the store, you’ll find endless shelves of books, a garden path with park benches, a patio with bargain books and more, all situated within red brick buildings dating back to the early 19th century. The Book Loft also sells posters, puzzles and other merchandise.

 

Book Loft

© Fred Bender

Turn your trip to Columbus into a reader’s paradise with a visit to Book Loft, followed by Columbus Book Festival, July 13–14. This free, two-day event features more than 200 national and local authors. This year’s event and exhibit called Art Unbound IV displays the way we see books by using withdrawn library materials destined to be recycled.

 

Extend your book-themed vacation with a stay at The Junto, where 500 books await guests to be read.

 

coffee shop

© Erika Gene Clark Photography

Looking ahead to fall, the ninth annual Columbus Coffee Festival hits the city Oct. 5–6. Combine reading with a good cup of coffee at this festival featuring more than 43 coffee roaster partners from all over the Midwest. This festival also includes craft vendors, baked goods, live music, photo spots, food trucks and more.

 

Columbus also hosts the free Schmidt’s Columbus Oktoberfest 2024 Sept. 6–8, celebrating German culture that has been going strong for more than 50 years.

 

What authors can you find in Columbus? Bestselling poet Maggie Smith and author Saeed Jones call the city home, as well as Hanif Abdurraqib, 2021 National Book Award nominee and MacArthur “Genius.”

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