I have thought about this numerous times. DC is a city of nerds. It’s a city of people devoted to political issues, the public, helping other nations. People who give up highly paid salaries to pursue their passion and thereby read about it all the time. So, my reader, where are the used/rare bookstores?? More importantly, where are the used bookstores near ME? Dupont has one: Second Story Books. Adam’s Morgan has one: Idle Time Books. But are there any others…
The short answer is, not really. Not without a few metro stops at least. There are a few independent bookstores where books are one of many focuses (or foci?), like Busboys and Poets, which also a performance space and a bar, and Kramer Books, which has a bustling restaurant, but there are no down and dirty, packed to the brim, used/rare bookstores with a nice reading room and a cafe. You could even sell maps. I imagine something like this:
Perfect yes? Look, DC folks may not have studies (unless ikea makes a flaarke study), but we do buy books. On a rainy day all I would want is a neighborhood bookstore to go to, hang out in, buy a cool book on issue X that my dear friend obsessed with issue X would love, then my dear friend would incessantly talk to me about it, forcing me to pretend to listen, saying things like “oh, that is such an interesting fact about WWII battleships,” which I would half do until I suddenly realize that the my newly-opened imaginary bookstore sells croissants and I could just concentrate on how delicious those are rather than listening because, honestly, I am not the world’s best listener. It’s why I blog.
SO. Someone needs to open an independent political bookstore. With coffee. On 14th street. I will blog about it if you do.