Best Local Bookstores in Washington, D.C.

June 23, 2014 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Washington, D.C. is full of people who enjoy to read for leisure. On the bus or metro, you will find many people reading on their tablets, Kindles or other e-readers. Although a lot of people read digitally now, you can still find bookstores in the city. Like the article Most Community-Centered Bookstores in Washington, D.C. suggests, there are some great bookstores for you to choose from. Here are the best local bookstores in D.C.

Second Story Books
2000 P St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 659-8884

Second Story Books is a quaint little bookstore that utilizes its small space wisely. The local bookstore carries cds, dvds, posters, prints and more, along with books. And the books the shop has cover a wide variety of subjects and genres including law, arts, sociology, poetry, economics, religion, medicine and so much more. And for the vintage lover, the bookstore has a rare book room that will delight your brain. On top of that, if you feel like you have a rare book yourself, you can get your book or manuscript appraised.

Politics & Prose
5015 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 364-1919

Presidents, athletes, scientists, actors and, of course, authors have stopped by Politics & Prose to promote their books and meet their fans. The nationally recognized bookstore is one of the highest rated bookstores in the country. Locals, tourists and visiting celebrities praise the bookstore for its commitment to the written word. As the largest independent bookstore in DC, Politics & Prose sets the bar high and continues to be an industry leader. With classes, signings, story time for children and a coffeehouse, this bookstore is the total package.

Books For America
1417 22nd St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 835-2665

A non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating illiteracy, Books For America likes to call its used bookstore the “Center For Reading & Literacy.” It is more than just another bookstore, it is a part of a larger mission to make reading a steady part of everyone’s lives, especially for those who can’t afford to buy new books. The bookstore supports the organization’s literacy programs, library building and other initiatives. By donating or buying books, cds and dvds, you are helping children, families, adults and schools get books and supplies.

Related: Best Specialty Bookstores In Washington DC

Bridge Street Books
2814 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 965-5200

For over 30 years, Bridge Street Books has been a part of the Georgetown community. While big chain stores have come and gone, this independent bookstore has survived off of the personal relationships it has cultivated with its customers. Specializing in philosophy, cultural studies, politics, film and poetry, the bookstore is a favorite among those looking for more academic titles. Several buyers praise the store for its philosophy section. For book lovers, this is a great stop while you are roaming Georgetown.

The Lantern
3241 P St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 333-3222

Washington DC is known for politics, but it should be known for its large amount of non-profit and charitable organizations, especially when there are so many organizations that combine giving back with community-enriching products and services. The Lantern is one of those local businesses that looks first at helping the community. Founded in 1977 with a mission to provide scholarships for women to attend college, the bookstore continues to do just that. By purchasing books from this bookstore, you are helping a young woman realize her dreams.

Related: Best Places To Read Your Book With Coffee In Washington DC

Folashade Oyegbola is a freelance writer covering all things D.C. Her work can be found on

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