Oh my goodness! The Book Loft is a book lover’s dream come true! Thirty-two rooms full of books! Really, what more is there to say? Being an avid book reader and book lover, I can’t say enough how amazing this place is! You can literally spend hours and hours browsing this magnificent book store.
Sydney and I were able to sit down and talk with Carl Jacobsma who is co-owner of The Book Loft. Carl co-owns The Book Loft with Russell Iler. What a fascinating history this book store has.
Carl Jacobsma and Roger Tompkins opened The Book Loft together over 41 years ago. Roger had the idea for the bookstore being a former teacher who loved books. Carl, who was a previous banker, thought Roger’s idea was great and so The Book Loft came to be. The book store has expanded over the years. As retail space in adjoining buildings became available, Carl and Roger purchased them and knocked walls out to make more rooms in the bookstore. The expansion didn’t happen over night. It was a slow and steady process. They kept buying and knocking out walls until they came to the present day 32 room bookstore.
In 1981 Carl and Roger took on a third partner, Russell Iler. Unfortunately, the trio has once again become a duo after the passing of Roger. Carl operates the business side of things such as the finances, accounting and human resources. While Russell acts as more of a buying and marketing role. Together, the fit is perfect!
We asked Carl what one of the hardest things is in running the bookstore. He said definitely maintaining the old building. It constantly needs repairs, as does any old, historic building. He said it is a never ending job. On the other hand, one of the best things about running the bookstore is the employees. Carl said they have the most wonderful employees. There are 12 employees along with Carl and Russell. Carl couldn’t say enough good things about this amazing group of people!
The #1 best selling books for The Book Loft is their children’s books. They have a large and really neat children’s area. The #2 best selling books for them is cookbooks. I didn’t see this one coming! I guess with the internet, and especially Pinterest, I was surprised that this was their second best seller. If you are a cookbook lover, chef or just love to cook and bake you really need to check out the cookbook area of the store. It is huge! Carl said they also sell a lot of the classics. Customers really love the Penguin classics. They keep plenty of these in stock for the classic lovers.
What makes The Book Loft so successful? Carl attributes it to their unique 32 room layout and their unique book displays. We would definitely have to agree with this!
They carry only new books. Carl said some people are under the impression that they carry used books. He said they never have carried used ones, only new. Maybe the historic building makes people think they carry used books.
The Book Loft does around 100 book signings per year. They don’t hold book clubs in the store; Carl said there is really no room for a book club. However, they do provide book clubs with a discount. So, if you are in a book club and live locally, check out The Book Loft for a book club discount.
What an enjoyable morning we spent learning about The Book Loft and checking out all 32 rooms! We need to go back and visit when we have a lot more available time. Like say maybe all day!
The Book Loft is located at 631 S 3rd St., Columbus OH (German Village area). They are open 7 days a week from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm for your reading pleasure!
If you love books and reading, it would so be worth planning a road trip to this area. I have never seen anything like this awesome and unique book store.
Have a great day!