Columbus Bookseller Closes Shop, for Now

A longtime Columbus children’s bookstore will start a new chapter as its owners head into retirement.

Cover to Cover, owned by husband and wife Carl King and Sally Oddi, closed its doors June 30. Oddi said they sold the Clintonville business, which opened 37 years ago, to Melia and Ed Wolf of Upper Arlington. “It was just time,” Oddi said.

The new owners are expected to reopen the store in Upper Arlington. Oddi said she feels like they’re leaving the business in good hands. “I’m really excited we found a buyer who gets it.” The Wolfs were out of town and could not be reached for comment.

Oddi, 69, taught kindergarten through second grade as well as reading in several Columbus City Schools buildings before opening the store. Before she hung out her own shingle, she was among several teachers who operated a book fair business serving local schools from 1976 to 1980.

While Oddi was working on a master’s degree at Ohio State University, she said, one of her professors, Charlotte Huck, always seemed to have books that were not available at the mall bookstores common in those days. Then on a trip to London, Oddi saw a children’s bookshop in the Knightsbridge district and fell in love. “I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do,’ ” she said.

Cover to Cover opened in 1980, occupying three storefronts (3333, 3335 and 3337) along North High Street until 1997, when it moved to 3560 N. High St.

Oddi said she’ll miss knowing what’s coming down the publishing pike, but especially the customers—some of whom are third-generation shoppers. “I knew that would be the hardest part,” she said.

The couple owns the building at 3560 N. High St. and have leased it to System of Strength, which operates fitness studios in Dublin and near Grandview Heights.

For information about a re-opening, keep tabs on covertocoverchildrensbooks.com.