Ribbon-cutting for Viewpoint Books: Chapter Two in Columbus, Ind.

Owner Beth Stroh at Viewpoint Books: Chapter Two.

Viewpoint Books hosted a ribbon-cutting on June 6 for its second location, Viewpoint Books: Chapter Two, at 425 Washington St. in Columbus, Ind. "Thank you! For us, those simple words carry enormous importance," the bookseller posted on Facebook. "We always hope to genuinely convey how much you and your support mean to us. Viewpoint Books has been a part of this community for over 50 years, thanks to you. Hundreds of HUGs--Help Us Grow gifts--were shared in record time, thanks to you.... This week, Viewpoint Books: Chapter Two became a reality, thanks to you. Every day beyond this one, we believe our community will thrive, thanks to you."

Earlier in the week, fans of Viewpoint Books had "lined up to lend a hand--a couple of hundred hands, all told--to help a beloved local institution stock a second downtown storefront," the Republic reported. The "book brigade" gathered outside the current store at 548 Washington St. and passed books hand-to-hand to store staff who were filling shelves of the new second location, a block away across the street in the former Ames Mercantile shop.

Viewpoint's book chain in action.

"It's great," owner Beth Stroh said as she watched books moving along the human chain. "I had no idea really what to expect at 4 o'clock on a Wednesday afternoon.... It's been amazing. People have been so supportive."

In March, Viewpoint had launched a crowdfunding campaign called HUG (Help Us Grow) to assist with financing for the expansion. Viewpoint has been in its current location for about 30 years, but the space is cramped and Stroh believed having a second nearby storefront made sense.

She told the Republic that she was pleased with the turnout of people of all ages and from all walks of life for the book brigade. The community enthusiasm was also on display for Viewpoint's expansion plans, which relied in part on individual donations to the HUG campaign that raised thousands of dollars toward the effort.

"Just the response was enormously affirming," said Stroh, who purchased Viewpoint in 2016. "People just seem really satisfied and happy that we have an independent bookstore in Columbus, and they want to see us grow."

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