Meet the Pointers

Meet the Pointers… and learn what words matter to them!

Pointers are the people who work at Viewpoint Books. We owe our name to Susan and Terry Whittaker, the truly original Pointers who started Viewpoint Books in Columbus with Susan’s parents back in 1973. Over the years, dozens of people representing diverse ages, beliefs and interests have been lucky enough to call themselves Pointers. What we all share is a love of books. Read on to find out more about the current Pointer team and the words that matter most to us!

Celia Allman-Watts

I was born and raised in Columbus and have worked at Viewpoint for 19 years. I love to read thrillers and suspense novels. When I was in middle school, I was a student of Beth’s. I have a special needs son (pictured), so working at Viewpoint has always offered flexibility to meet his needs. When I’m not reading, I love to binge watch TV, go to movies and exercise. If I could meet a fictional character, I would choose Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. He was a real person with no super powers that stood up for justice when it was most difficult. 

Maya Baker

I am a first-year student at Indiana University, studying Informatics with a minor in Spanish. When I’m not studying, I am enjoying a latte from Starbucks, watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix, or raising money for a cause I’m passionate about. You can find me at Viewpoint on holidays, probably reading a comedy or a murder mystery.

Melinda Clark

My husband, Roger, and I moved to Columbus 34 years ago. We’ve come to love Columbus and it has been a great place to raise our two boys. I am the manager of Viewpoint Books and have been with the store for 26 years. I love to read science fiction, fantasy, and mystery books. I also enjoy reading young adult and middle reader books so that I can help parents and kids find books they’ll love to read. If I could meet any fictional character, I would choose to meet Aibileen Clark from The Help. I was born the same year as the character Mae Mobley Leefolt. She had Aibileen to love her and care about her and I had Ella Mae. Ella Mae was removed from my life, but I have never forgotten her. I would like to thank Aibileen for her love and caring of Mae Mobley and for understanding that children do not necessarily see color the way adults do. They only care that they are loved. Thank you, Ella Mae.

Isaac Harper

I currently attend Columbus East High School. I have a heavy interest in music and literature. I get to apply that interest to the great NOMAD Arts program hosted in the basement of Viewpoint. I play in a Columbus band that takes part in the NOMAD Arts events. I also enjoy reading, as I should, considering that I work at a bookstore. Currently, I am chipping away at the massive storyline of the first Game of Thrones book. And last, but not least, I love my job at Viewpoint. If I was to meet a fictional character in real life, I would want to meet Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones. I think he seems like a cool guy to hang out with, I mean getting past the sly comments he would probably make.

Jenna Hashagen

I am an honors student at Columbus North High School. My hobbies include reading, painting, and finding new music. I am looking at different art schools around Indiana and hoping to become a Visual Communication major. Working at Viewpoint has been an amazing experience for me and will continue to help me grow and shape my character. If I could meet any fictional character from a book I would want to meet Hermione from the Harry Potter Series, because she was such a big influence on me as a child.

Michelle Malina

I’m an Indy native, but we moved to Columbus after our twins, John and Gabrielle were born. So we’ve been here roughly 24 years! My hobbies include reading and baking, but I do way more reading than baking these days since we are empty nesters and no one is around to eat the baked goods! I love to read sweeping sagas that cover generations of a single family, historical fiction, and some non-fiction, though I’m hoping to read more in the latter category during 2017. I’ve been working at Viewpoint Books about nine months and can’t think of a better job for someone who loves books, reading, and people!

Kelli Stricklin

I am a retired IPS teacher who has recently moved to the Prince’s Lakes area. I taught for 35 years in both Indianapolis and Dallas, TX. I am married to a wonderful musician and we have two, now grown, boys. I love reading and gardening. I am now employed at my “dream job”—working in an independent bookstore. Fictional characters that I would like to meet are Hazel Grace and Augustus from The Fault in our Stars because, besides my mother, they are the bravest people I have ever “met”.

Polly Verbanic

I remember clearly my first visit to The Viewpoint. It was shortly after my arrival to Columbus in 1992. I so loved being in the presence of books that I tentatively asked the then-owners, Susan and Terry Whittaker, if they had any openings for employment… and the rest is history. I have been affiliated with the bookstore in one capacity or another for 24 years, serving as The Story Lady most of that time. I enjoy reading across many genres, but most enjoy children’s read-alouds, fiction, and non-fiction as it relates to social commentary and politics. I would like to meet and thank Nancy Drew for making glad my childhood heart, for introducing me to the civil disobedience of binge reading after “lights out,” and well… her Ned… my very first concept of a boyfriend.

Theresa Wilson

I am a new employee at Viewpoint. I came to Columbus via Plainfield, Indiana, over 30 years ago, after graduating from Ball State University. A teaching position brought me here, but meeting my husband, a Columbus native, has since made this special town my home. My most cherished role is being the mother to three grown sons. In my spare time I enjoy reading, crocheting, puzzles of all kinds, and traveling with my husband, Mark. Like Polly, if I could meet any fictional character, I would choose Nancy Drew. As a young girl, I read every book in the series. I credit my love of reading, especially mystery/thrillers to the hours spent devouring every case Nancy investigated.