Friday, December 2, 2011

Charming from Cover to Cover - Columbus Independent Children's Bookstore

Charming from Cover to Cover 

Nestled in the heart of Columbus in an area called Clintonville, and sandwiched between a bank and Jiffy Lube is one of the city’s great treasures - an independent bookstore for children called Cover to Cover.  Stepping through the front door is like entering a candy store.  There is the feeling of wanting to devour the contents; swallowing them up over many hours of delicious reading.    You can see all the way to the back of the store in one glance which gives the sense that consuming this considerable feast is quite feasible.  

As your eyes regain focus and your happy heart calms a bit, you might notice an employee such as Beth standing by ready to help you in your search for the perfect reading treat.  Maybe you want a Caldecott award winning book or maybe you want a selection of poetry, or possibly a book about whales.  Beth knows every book in the shop and can steer you to the perfect selection.  

But wait, my eyes have wandered to a new distraction.  Someone has written all over the walls with black markers.   On closer inspection, I realize the walls are covered with autographs.  Think of a children’s author you love and their autograph is certainly inscribed on the wall, often accompanied by a delightful illustration. 

 On the day I visited the store, I had the great fortune of running into another Columbus treasure, Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld.  When asked how she would like me to describe her, she said, “educator, author and elderly hippie”.  This charismatic, engaging woman has written several books including Celebrating Young Children and their Teachers.  It seemed fitting to find her in Cover to Cover buying her grandchildren a few books for the holidays.   She is happily internet avoidant; always preferring interactions with ‘real people’.   
Shael Brachman, Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld, Rita Bourland

Married owners, Randy King and Sally Oddi are all about the connections with real people.  They’ve been at it for over 30 years and have figured out the formula for running a successful independent bookstore in an age of internet absorption.  By providing a real versus virtual experience they have found and retained legions of fans still longing for the same thing. 

So stop by Columbus and get lost for a few hours in Cover to Cover.  Maybe come by on a Tuesday or Saturday morning for story hour or drop by when an author is on tour.  Or maybe just stop in to embrace this charming place, inhaling the smell of books, and traveling for a few moments into a world where children thrive and a book can take you to places you never imagined.  It’s better than anything you could find in a candy store. 

3560 N. High Street
Columbus, OH 43214
(614) 263-1624

1 comment:

  1. Oh my word. Now I need to visit my Mom and her husband ASAP since they live near Columbus. Of course, they'll think I'm coming to hang with them. Won't they be surprised when I disappear for an entire day inside Cover to Cover? Sounds incredible, lovely, amazing.