Last week, we had the pleasure of visiting with John Coleman, retired bookseller extraordinaire, and the privilege of acquiring some books from his personal collection. John was the last proprietor of Acres of Books, a huge bookstore in downtown Cincinnati which was in business from the 1920s for about 60 years. John told us the building had been a paint store; the tall wheeled ladders were already there for reaching the high shelves. As a child, John would skip school to spend his days at the library instead; as a young man, he was in the army, and studied opera, but ultimately the book world reclaimed him. After Acres of Books closed, John worked at Barnes & Noble for 19 years. He had fifty years experience as a bookseller when he retired. For those of us in the next generation, John was the very model of a used bookseller, white beard and all. Countless thousands of good books have been through his hands and in his care. All of us book lovers owe an incalculable debt of gratitude to people like John who have devoted themselves to sheltering books and fostering them between homes. It is our good fortune that his generation, including the late lamented Russ Speidel, edified and inspired the next generation of booksellers.
Book World and Welcome to it
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