For globetrotters who are also booklovers, Washington DC has many hidden literacy gems in its different neighbourhoods. If you are planning your next vacation to DC, here are some bookstores to visit and get lost in prose:
Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café
In 2011, this bookstore was in the news after Barack Obama and his daughters made a visit to pick books for Christmas. Located close to DuPont Circle, Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café is a beautifully lit store with a great selection. Besides its huge selection of children books and LGBTQ literature, Kramerbooks holds author talks and book signings each month. It’s Afterwords Café an ideal place to wine and dine while enjoying a book until 3am in the morning.
Second Story Books
Home to a wide range of rare books collection, Second Story Books stocks up second hand books, LPs, art prints and posters. The store located next to the DuPont Circle Metro always has a clearance sale on its sidewalk where six books go for Sh2,000.
Due to its tights aisles, the packed bookshelves can be overwhelming so set aside a few hours to explore it.
Lost City Books
Previously known as Idle Time Books, Lost City Books has patronised the vibrant Adams Morgan neighbourhood for the past 36 years. If you are interested in banned books, out-of-print titles, first editions and old magazines, then this is the place to be. The store is curated with readers in mind with nooks complete with reading lights and piped music. Check out the staff picks of the month of the new and old titles.
This is Amazon’s its first brick-and-motor store located in Georgetown and sells only top ranked books from its site here. The ambience is very easy with a cafe and children’s playing area located on its lower floor. It has an amazing collection of poetry and fiction books.
The books here have no price tag and you must use the store scanner or your phone to check the prices. Amazon Prime members get between 20 to 30 per cent discounts on every in-store purchase.
Politics & Prose
Poised to be US’ largest and best independent bookstores, Politics & Prose offers you the rare opportunity to bump into former US presidents and political figures beside the great political titles. They have book clubs events and author sessions almost every day of the month. You can enjoy a meal from their in-house coffee shop or wait for their happy hour while reading one of the many titles.
If you are thinking of being part of some literacy tourism, there are airlines that fly every day from Nairobi via Dubai to Washington DC.
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