The joy of an independent bookstore is in the personal recommendation from one ardent book lover to another. We tracked down a few of Columbus' best booksellers to ask them for a few good reads.

The joy of an independent bookstore is in the personal recommendation from one ardent book lover to another. We tracked down a few of Columbus' best booksellers to ask them for a few good reads.

Cover to Cover: Sally Oddi

"Home" by Carson Ellis

"The art is stunning," Oddi says. And she loves the message that home can be many things to many people.

"Lulu Walks the Dogs" by Judith Viorst

"She writes with humor," Oddi says. "She also has books on turning 40, 50 and 60. I give those to my girlfriends as we age up." covertocoverchildrensbooks.com

Karen Wickliff Books: Karen Wickliff

"The Hidden Persuaders" by Vance Packard

"It was originally published in 1959, but it's very appropriate even for today," Wickliff says. "After you read that book, you are very wary of advertising."

"The Frontiersmen" by Allan Eckert

Eckert lived in Bellefontaine for years, the playwright behind "Tecumseh!". "The Frontiersmen" is a favorite of Wickliff because it doesn't skimp on the gore. "It's bloodthirsty," she says. 3527 N. High St., Clintonville, 614-263-290

Acorn Bookshop: George Bauman

"Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher" By Timothy Egan

Bauman was immediately drawn into the story about photographer Edward S. Curtis, who documented American Indians in the early 20th century. Curtis makes for a fascinating protagonist, Bauman says, but "Egan's such a good writer. He pulls it all together."

"The Third Coast" by Ted McClelland

A Chicago-based reporter decides to drive around the Great Lakes, documenting small-town life. McClelland's outstanding interviewing skills shine through in stories about fish fries and mom-and-pop shops of the upper Midwest. "He's smart to sit back and listen to conversations," Bauman says. acornbookshop.com

Bonus stop! The Book Loft

This landmark's 32 patchwork rooms contain a charmingly bizarre blend of publishers' remainders, new releases, music and word-nerd tchotchkes like canvas tote bags and T-shirts emblazoned with classic book covers. "Dream Land" by Sam Quinones, investigative nonfiction about the heroin epidemic, and "Sometimes a Great Notion," a lesser-known novel by beat hero Ken Kesey, are recommended. bookloft.com