The book lover talks paletas, pottery and more

Bryan Loar is a co-founder of charitable nonprofit Cbus Libraries and a Clintonville resident. He is passionate about celebrating libraries of all types, collaborating with artists and championing a love of reading. Cbus Libraries Booksgiving will take place at Two Dollar Radio Headquarters on Tuesday, Nov. 13. The event features local author Dr. Carlotta Penn and supports literacy at Columbus Early Learning Centers. Here are a few things he loves.

Central Ohio library, indie bookstore and literary communities

Beyond Central Ohio's plethora of five-star public libraries (visit them today!), Cover to Cover Children’s Books, Gramercy Books, Two Dollar Radio HQ, Grammar + Chill, Thurber House, Wild Goose Creative and more are transforming the region into a literary powerhouse. I love living in this nexus.

Ohioana Book Festival

The annual festival features 100-plus authors, with programs for all ages. The festival coming next April will be extra special, since it will be held at the Columbus Metropolitan Library for the first time and will take place during Ohioana Library Association’s 90th anniversary. Through the festival, I’ve met some literary titans, including National Book Award Winner Jacqueline Woodson.

2x2 Fest and The Lookout Shop

Growing up around Dayton in the late ’80s, I dreamed of being immersed in a graffiti and hip-hop scene — except the scene there was dispersed and too underground for a kid. In Columbus, we are so lucky to have the 2x2 Hip-Hop Fest and graffiti supply store The Lookout Shop. I’m excited for The Lookout Shop’s reopening this December and 2x2’s next fest in 2019.

Diamonds Ice Cream

We have so many great choices in Central Ohio for cold confections, including Graeter’s Ice Cream and Jeni’s, along with pop ups J-POPS and Rime Time. However, the exotic paletas at Diamonds are unforgettable. A few months ago at Diamonds, Cbus Libraries had the honor of featuring local author and illustrator Vada Azeem. Kicking it with Vada while eating delicious, creamy popsicles containing whole pistachios was a dream.

Alisha Omega Pottery

Alisha Loar, local ceramicist and all-around mentor for how to realize your dreams, started Alisha Omega Pottery in February 2018. Taking inspiration from everything from growing up on Kauai to our gardens in Clintonville, Alisha extends nature’s beauty through unique ceramic jewelry, housewares and planters. I’m in awe of her drive and realization of becoming a successful artist and businesswoman.