|Viewpoint Books, Columbus, IN|
The big thing in Columbus, IN is the architecture. For architecture geeks this town is a destination and is mentioned in the same breath as other recognized cities, like Chicago for example. The other big thing here is Cummins Inc., an engine company that brings in people from all over the world. To both of these I say, meh. The only thing I care about in Columbus is Viewpoint Books, a long-running independent bookstore since 1973 and now in only its 2nd location for the last 8 years or so. While many may know of the first two big things, everyone in Columbus knows about Viewpoint Books and now I'm telling the rest of the country that THIS is the destination reason to visit Columbus.
I have so much admiration for bookstores that have endured for the length of time that Viewpoint has. That longevity is no coincidence thanks to the original owners, the new owners, John and Beth S., a great staff, and a devoted community that values the presence of a bookstore. When this store changed locations 8-9 years ago, the challenge could've been difficult. No sweat. Countless volunteers stepped up and thanks to their help, the store's inventory was moved and in the new location in two hours. I know how import local bookstores are because I've heard similar stories at other indies across the country. Hats off to you, Columbus.
The store has a good-sized, one-level space on a corner of downtown on the main street. There is a very spacious lower level for events that includes youth music groups and book clubs. Viewpoint offers all new books and a good variety of sidelines. The room in the far back was the space for used books but now is an area where you can find music on vinyl and turntables. For Viewpoint, this was a good business decision. The children's department was especially good with books and lots of toys and games. And a great thing for me was easy and free parking right on the street.
I didn't get to meet the owners, John and Beth, on this visit, but wow do they have an 'A' team staff of booksellers. Celia, Karen, Melinda, and Ben were outstanding to meet and visit with (either everyone in this store is nice or the grumpy ones weren't working when I visited). When you visit Viewpoint, you will love meeting these people and talking about books.
You may visit Columbus for their renowned attractions. If you do, squeeze in a trip to see Viewpoint Books. Great book inventory, great gifts, great kids stuff, and the best people anywhere. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: The Stranger, Harlan Coben. If you want an edge-of-your-seat gripping page-turner, this is it. I love this author and I thought this book was outstanding. Lots of plot twists and lots of secrets revealed to compromise people. All were revealed by the stranger. Highly recommended.
CURRENTLY READING: White Rage: The Unspoken Truth Of Our Racial Divide, Carol Anderson.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon, Kelley and Thomas French.
|Another exterior view. This store has a great corner location.|
|In case you need any reasons to visit, here you go.|
|View looking into the store from the front entrance.|
|Looking to the right from the front entrance.|
|Looking to the left from the front entrance. Notice the beautiful Viewpoint Books stained glass sign on the wall.|
|A great place in the front of the store to try out a book and watch the people outside.|
|A wonderful seasonal table display that kids will love.|
|Creative display of cooking-related books and items.|
|A few of the greeting cards available.|
|Need some tree ornaments? You'll find them here.|
|Viewpoint has a great assortment of sidelines.|
|A portion of the books of local interest.|
|Have you heard of a game called, Dr. Eureka? Come in the store and give it a try.|
|Lots of games and other great stuff for kids.|
|See caption above.|
|A portion of the room dedicated to the children's section.|
|This room in the back of the store is where you'll find music on vinyl and turntables.|
|Some of the music on vinyl available.|
|Something you can do at almost any independent bookstore.|
|Is that black and white dog on the floor fake or real? Visit the store to find out.|
|When you visit Viewpoint, ask them to show you a demonstration of some of their games.|
|This is a great events space downstairs.|
|Another view of the events space.|
|From L-R: Melinda, Celia, & Karen, the fine booksellers at Viewpoint Books. Thanks for a great visit.|