Carl Jacobsma - Booked

David vs. Goliath may be a cliché, and writers tend to avoid using them, but sometimes they are dead-on, like calling the Book Loft "Independent".

And nothing could more correctly describe the job of Carl Jacobsma, co-owner of The Book Loft of German Village, the last remaining independently-run, full-service book store in the Columbus area.

With titles ranging from the Anarchist Cookbook, (which Jacobsma swears is the most unusual book that has been requested in the 29-year history of the store) to a children’s book called Zathura and everything in between, the store is a 32-room maze of over half a million titles. It’s not hard to get lost in the store for hours at a time, tripping from one penned perspective and idea to the next.

“It is unlike any other bookstore,” says Jacobsma. “We have a unique layout and a display that you will not see in any other store. It is not your run-of-the-mill book store.”

Uniqueness is the theme of the store, which Jacobsma, along with business partner Roger Tompkins, opened in February of 1977 at 631 South Third Street, in the heart of German Village. Its distinctiveness has allowed the Book Loft to compete with Barnes and Noble, Borders and the other corporate behemoths.

“The days of the independent bookstore are drawing to an end, and when they are gone, they will never return,” says Jacobsma. “If [customers] like the uniqueness of it, they need to support it now. We survive by carrying books that other books stores don’t carry.”

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