Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Bookseller

Local Bookstore Home to Antique and Everyday Books
by Brit Charek

The Bookseller, Inc may not be most noticeable storefront in all of West Akron, but it's worth going the extra mile to experience.

You can see this sign approaching the Westgate plaza from West Market Street westbound

The locally-owned, family operated shop specialize in Ohio, and specifically Akron and Summit county history, including much about the rubber industry, which seemed to put our fine city on the map. They also highlight aviation and "lighter than air" books. Don't let that discourage you if you're just looking for something to read-- They also carry a wide variety of other works, from gently used fiction novels to kitschy vintage cookbooks. I especially enjoyed their selection of classic children's books.

The store has an intimate feeling about it. It feels more like a home collection than a stuffy library. It may not seem the most organized upon first walking in, but the always friendly staff (which is usually a single person manning the shop) has no problems navigating through the books to find a particular work.
The shop was originally established in a basement in Cuyahoga Falls by Clarence Klein in 1948. Since then, it has been passed down from generation to generation. Although they've had to change the location several times in the sixty plus years of operation, it still remains in the Klein family to this day. It is currently operated by father and daughter team Frank and Andrea Klein and since 1997 has been located behind the Westgate Shopping Plaza on West Market Street just west of the intersection of Market, Hawkins and Exchange.

Chairs and tables encourage customers to sit and enjoy their findings.

Being that they specialize in rare and antiquarian books, you'd think that the prices would be somewhat inflated, but this isn't the case. When I stopped by over the weekend there was even a 20% off sale that I didn't even know about until I got to the cash register.

The Bookseller does a good amount of their business on their website, which you can visit by clicking here. There you can browse books by category, or search for a specific work by title or author.

Although online shopping is convenient, there's still something satisfying about physically picking out a book with your hands, or letting your two year old do it for you. Next time you're in the area, stop in to the Bookseller. You might be surprised at what you find.

The view from the front entrance, next to the Eye Opener
The Bookseller, Inc. is located at 96 Westgate Circle in West Akron.

What are your favorite places in Akron that you'd like to see featured? Send your suggestions to: AkronEmpire [at] gmail dot com.

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