Bookstore Crawling in Columbus

[Note: This post was updated April 23, 2019 with info about store closures, moves, and an actual upcoming bookcrawl on April 27, 2019]

I’ve heard of wine-tasting tours, gallery hops and pub crawls in Columbus, Ohio. I’ve yet to hear of a bookstore crawl in Columbus and I’m kind of wondering when the booksellers around here will get their stuff together to pull one off. Searching online, I found a San Francisco Bookstore and Chocolate Crawl, a London book crawl, a blog post about book crawling in Houston, a Literary Crawl in Nevada, a Cambridge book crawl (a GREAT place for a bookstore crawl), and more.

B & N

Barnes and Noble Easton Town Center

But I think we have the makings for a great bookstore crawl in Greater Columbus. I would have no problem spending a day visiting some of the great bookstores in our area. So I’ve come up with my own book crawl itinerary. In some cases, there are multiple outlets for some stores and I’ve chosen a favorite out of these. Since I live on the north end of the city, I’ll start there and work my way south.

1. Barnes and Noble Easton Town Center. This is probably the biggest and classiest Barnes and Noble in the city and if you were to go to one retail outlet for new books, this is it. Biggest danger here is being distracted by all the other boutiques in this trendy shopping district.

Village Bookshop

Village Bookshop

2. Village Bookshop2424 W Dublin Granville Rd Columbus, OH 43235‎. This is a used and remaindered bookstore located in an old church building, with both first and second floors. You can ramble from room to room, from sections of children’s books, to a table of biographies, to sections of American, world, and military history (including a great selection of military prints) to literature, philosopy, fiction, and much more. Update April 2019: This store is now closed.

3. Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers, 3560 N High St, Columbus, OH 43214. I have to admit that I’ve never visited this indie bookstore focused on children’s books but they’ve been around a long time and must be doing something right. The pictures on their website suggest this is a delightful place for children! Update April 2019: This store has moved to an Upper Arlington location.

4. Karen Wickliff Books, 3527 N. High St., Columbus , Ohio 43214. They claim to be the oldest and largest used bookstore in Columbus. This is the place to go for out of print, scholarly, and collectible books. I’ve found their religion section among the best of any used bookstore I’ve visited.

5. Half Price Books, 1375 W. Lane Ave. Columbus, Ohio 43221. Half Price Books is a national chain of used and remaindered books, music, and video. I’ve been to all their Columbus locations and think this is the best (though we like them all!). It’s located just west of Ohio State, and because of this has a bit more academic selection of books including a great section of $1 and $2 books.

6. Acorn Bookshop, 1464 West 5th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43212. Even the entrance to their website is fun and what makes this store, located in Grandview, to the west of Ohio State, is the effort all the booksellers make to know their customers and how much they love bookselling. George Bauman is co-owner and has been bookselling for 50 years. On one visit, I met Norman Knapp, who “Norman-izes” their books which includes cleaning, repairing, and on books with dust jackets, putting a protective plastic sleeve like libraries use to protect the book. Make sure to go down to the basement, which has more extensive selections in all the categories you find upstairs. [Update: Acorn Books closed its doors in March 2018 after 25 years of bookselling.]

The Book Loft

The Book Loft

7. The Book Loft, 631 South Third Street, Columbus, OH 43206. This store, in the heart of German Village, can be entered from a brick walkway lined with flowers along the side of the building. The store consists of a series of rooms on a couple levels and you will want to print out or pick up a store directory.

Read It Again Books and Gifts

Read It Again Books and Gifts

8. Read it Again Books, 4052 Broadway, Grove City, Ohio. This is a charming used bookstore off the beaten path a bit on the southwest side of Columbus in Grove City’s renovated downtown district. The booksellers have expanded their hours recently and have great selections of the latest fiction as well as a broad selection of children’s books, history, biography and cookbooks (one of which we bought on our last visit there). What impressed me was how they worked with children in the store to find “just the right book.” Update April 2019: This store is now closed.

Columbus is a great place for booklovers. I’ve probably missed some good places and would love for my Columbus friends to add to the list in the comments. And if you are visiting town this summer and love books, I hope this might help you plan your own bookstore crawl.

[Update: Gramercy Books in Bexley opened in January of 2017, the first retail independent to open in Columbus in 20 years. For more information, read my review of the store.]

April 2019: Several new stores have opened in the Columbus market since 2015. Six stores are hosting a book crawl April 27, 2019. Here is a publicity graphic:FB_IMG_1556038889368


6 thoughts on “Bookstore Crawling in Columbus

  1. There actually is a book crawl that happens in Columbus; however, it’s not a public one, rather one that the Aldus Society puts together for its members. Every summer we “crawl” to several rare/used bookstores, such as Acorn (as mentioned here) and others, such as The Little Bookshop in Westerville (which has limited hours when it’s open to the public) and Hoffman’s Bookshop (which sells online but opens its doors to us during the crawl). Owners of these two shops are members of the Aldus Society, which you can learn more about here: Aldus is mostly focused on book collecting; however, it’s filled with people who simply love books. Throughout the year, it brings in great experts for fascinating presentations. You might like it! All that said, you’ve got a great book crawl outlined here!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for posting about this. I am familiar with the Aldus Society and it does sound like it might be an interesting group to join–someday! It is very fun to hear about the book crawls you do–any chance they’d let a potential member tag along?


      • The book crawl and other events are for members; however, the Thursday night (second of every month between September and May) are open to everyone. When the fall arrives, maybe there will be one that interests you. You’ll find a warm, welcoming group of people who love books. Meanwhile, thanks again for your book crawl list. I’ve never been to George’s basement at Acorn. I’ll check it out!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Who Was Aldus and Why Should Book-Lovers Care? | Bob on Books

  3. Pingback: New Menu Category @Bob on Books! | Bob on Books

  4. Pingback: An Amazing Bookstore | Bob on Books

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.