“Once inside, you completely forget you’re anywhere near any other stores, or on a busy road.”
Acorn Books - Columbus, OH
Acorn is located in Upper Arlington, home to The Ohio State University. When I drove up 5th Ave, I almost didn’t see it, as I wasn’t expecting it to be in a strip mall-like building. I parked on the side and walked through the front door.
Once inside, you completely forget you’re anywhere near any other stores, or on a busy road. The music the day I went was Italian, but my guess is that it changes. The rows are clean, perfectly spaced and arranged. The store was immaculate, but not stuffy at all.
Part of the charm is George Cowmeadow Bauman, the owner, and Christine, who was running the store when we arrived. (George says she’s “The Queen” and knows everything about the store). Both were proud to talk about The Acorn, and George gave me a great tour.
Their books are all previously owned. They get their stock from people selling them books and from estate sales. *Note: They only purchase about 5% of the books presented to them, so don’t be surprised if your books for sale aren’t accepted. George says the books range from $3 to $3000. (In hindsight, I wish I’d asked to see a $3000 book)
Mr. Bauman is clearly in love with Acorn. He told me stories of the different “chatchkes” around the store… they don’t BUY them, and they don’t SELL them, but customers, over the years, have given them different items for the store. They’ve lovingly displayed these quirky items all over the store, on top of shelves, in the shelves, in the corners. Have fun finding them!
Because of Mr. Bauman’s middle name, many of the items are cows. He told me that Cowmeadow is his mother’s maiden name. Her parents immigrated to the States from England and brought that entirely original name with them.
When asked if they have a bookstore cat, he placed his hand on his heart and said “alas, no,” but they used to have “Biblio”. You can see Biblio’s photo on their website http://www.acornbookshop.com. Their website also has a great search feature, something you usually only see with the larger shops.
We walked through the shelves on the top floor, then into the back where some of the comics and older books are. We then went into the basement where I met Norman, who wraps each book cover in a dust jacket, and is also in charge of getting the internet sales packaged. The basement was another entire bookshop! Again, immaculately kept, clean, organized and spaced.
Expect to find gems next to current best sellers. You’ll find the first book you ever read, the first book you ever bought, and likely the first book you ever loved. You might find a road map that shows your parents first home, and a toy on a shelf that you loved at your grandparents home.
~ Kerri Foulks