Read It Again Books in Grove City

I mentioned a couple of posts back our recent visit to Grove City.  One of our fun discoveries was Read It Again Books, located in Grove City’s shopping district at 4052 Broadway. This is a classic used bookstore. It is located in an old two-story home on the main street of Grove City, with every room filled with shelves and tables of books by different categories.

Read It Again Books and Gifts

Read It Again Books and Gifts

When we arrived in Grove City mid-afternoon, we found the store closed but found enough to divert us until they opened at 5 pm. The owners, Lora and Lynn, work other jobs during the daytime and so just open during the evenings on weekdays, from 5 to 8 pm, from 10-6 on Saturdays (they may be opening at 8am for the new farmers market that is starting up this Saturday) and 1-6 on Sundays.

We’re so glad we came back, not only for the cookbook of ethnic recipes from Cleveland my wife found (we lived there for nine years) and a mint condition copy of E. H. Gombrich’s A Little History of the World I picked up at a very reasonable price. We also really enjoyed getting to know Lora and Lynn.

Interior - Read it Again Books & Gifts

Interior – Read it Again Books & Gifts

 

Lora seems to be on a first name basis with most of her customers and really makes a point of getting to know their reading interests. We saw children, teens, and adults stop in while we were there. They have a children’s room and Lora worked with a couple of the children helping them find books they would enjoy in a way that would make any children’s librarian proud. She had a book she had set aside for one of her teen customers that she thought she would like.

Lynn was involved in shelving new acquisitions and what was fun was just listening to him talk about books they acquired that he found interesting. In addition, Lynn makes hand-turned fountain pens which also are for sale at the store. These were works of art.

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Lucy

Of course, one can’t forget Lucy, the quintessential bookstore cat. She seemed very friendly to the children in the store and just seemed to lap up attention.

Lora claimed that this was the only used bookstore in southwest Franklin County, and from what I know, I believe she is right. What was obvious to me was that Lora and Lynn loved books, loved connecting customers with books they would enjoy and work hard to both serve their community and make a go of this business. In that, they seem to represent the best ideals of the used/indie bookstore movement. And for that, I’m only too glad to give them a shout-out!

 

Bookstore Cats

I am not a cat lover. But for some reason I found myself thinking this morning about bookstores and cats and why they go together. Of course, you will not see a cat in any of the bookstore chains.  They probably worry about liability issues. Maybe the group of people frequenting the indie bookstores where you tend to find these cats are more respectful of the cats–keeping their distance and treating them as simply another book browser.

Orinda Books in Orinda, California features their bookstore cat right on the website's home page. They welcome you to come in and pet Ginger, who is accustomed to customers. Here you see her drawing attention to a table of books for sale. Photograph by Karen Lile. Text and photo accessed at http://mentalfloss.com/article/29928/10-excellent-bookstore-cats

Orinda Books in Orinda, California features their bookstore cat right on the website’s home page. They welcome you to come in and pet Ginger, who is accustomed to customers. Here you see her drawing attention to a table of books for sale. Photograph by Karen Lile. Text and photo accessed at http://mentalfloss.com/article/29928/10-excellent-bookstore-cats

Why is it that cats and bookstores go together? Maybe the question is why cats and indie bookstore operators tend to go together? Maybe independent is the common thread. Indie booksellers have always struck me as very much their “own” persons, similar to the personality of cats who seem to allow you into their lives very much on their terms, if at all.

Why do cats and books go together? Is it that we wish we had the mythical nine lives of cats to read all the books we would like? Or is it that cats seem to represent the all-knowing creatures we are tempted to think we can become through our books?

Perhaps it is much simpler. Somehow the presence of a cat wandering the shelves or perched atop a stack of books makes these stores seem a homier, more welcome place. That’s the impression we had at one of our favorite book haunts of the past, Twice-Loved Books, an indie used book store that occupied a former homes in Youngstown, Ohio. The store is no longer. But the memories of wandering the rooms with the store cat remain. The cat just added to the whole feel of the store as a place for an unhurried browse.

I hope the bookstore cat indeed has nine lives, because it will mean the stores it inhabits will as well. I’d love to hear about your favorite bookstore cat!