[Humans of Columbus] Beth Strohl

The Humans of Columbus blog posts are a collaboration with the Council for Youth Department for Maya Federle's senior project. The goal for these stories is to open the eyes of those who read them to the incredibly diverse patchwork of stories that makes up the community of Columbus.


[Humans of Columbus] Beth Strohl - Viewpoint Books

“I’ve never been unwilling to change careers. I started as a teacher and loved teaching. I’ve loved all of the things I’ve done. I have taken a very untraditional path but I was also not one of those people who said “I want to own a bookstore before I die.” I’d never owned a small business. And the business of owning a small bookstore is much more complex than I think most people would imagine. It has been a huge learning curve. But I tell people all the time I go home happily exhausted every evening. Physically because we move a lot of boxes of books, and mentally because I challenge myself to learn something new every day. We bought this store three years ago. I’m starting to feel like I know more than I don’t know but everything changes everyday. There are over a million new books written and published in the United States alone every year. If we don’t have the right books for customers and visitors we’ve lost an opportunity. There’s some research about the need for people to have a third place besides work and home. We were approached and asked if it was possible for Nomad, another senior project group, to meet here; we have a beautiful old brick-walled basement with these pillars that hold up the rest of this building and I said, “It’s perfect.” That’s exactly what we’d hoped for, and since then, we’ve had a wedding in the basement, we’ve had showers, birthday parties, community events. They’ve chosen to use what we call  the “Bookseller.” I would like to think that Viewpoint can be a third place for many people.” (37 years in Columbus)

Written by: Maya Federle, BCSC senior project
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