FYIDC: D.C. Used Bookstores

by Editorial

Put down the e-reader for a day and immerse yourself in yellow tinged pages and old book smell at one of these unique D.C. used bookstores.
By Shannon O’Reilly

Capitol Hill Books sells a hodge podge of books that are piled high from floor to ceiling. Photo by Kyoko Takenaka

Books are becoming a thing of the past with the growing popularity of devices like the Kindle, Nook, and iPad. But if your fingers are tingling with nostalgia for the weight of a book or the turn of a page, have no fear. You can still get your hands on a classic. D.C. has a number of used bookstores with hidden treasures just waiting to be found. So put the e-reader down and check out these stores in D.C. and discover a new book with some character of its own.

Capitol Hill Books

Located on historic Capitol Hill, Capitol Hill Books is two cozy floors stocked floor to ceiling with used books, including first edition and used books. With fiction books in the fiction room, mystery books in the mystery room, foreign language books in the bathroom, cookbooks in the kitchen on the kitchen sink, and business books in the business closet, Capitol Hill Books promises, “every bit of space in the store has a book, and there really is one here, somewhere, for you.” The store is quirky and guarantees a unique experience as you delve into the classics.

Second Story Books

Beginning in 1973 selling a total of 5,000 books, Second Story Books has grown to one of the largest used and rare bookstores in the world. The store houses over a million in books between its two locations in the D.C. metropolitan area. Along with selling rare books, CDs, LPs, and DVDs, Secondary Story Books also offers professional services including, appraisals, consignments, estate sales, and book repairs and binding.

Books for America

Make a difference while also finding that perfect summer read at Books for America. A non-profit with the mission to promote literacy, life-long learning, and understanding through literature, Books for America sells a portion of their donated books as a fundraising tool.

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The organization specifically builds and improves libraries in Washington, D.C. area schools, prisons, and shelters. In 2010, Books for America donated more than $600,000 books and materials to D.C. public school. The store is in Dupont, check it out for books at low prices and make a difference.

Riverby Books

Located in a residential section of Capitol Hill just four blocks from the Capitol Building, Riverby Books is quickly becoming a popular neighborhood destination. The store has 25,000 carefully selected volumes to browse through. For cash or store credit, Riverby Books buys single volumes and entire libraries at their appraisal. The store also accepts book donations to support local D.C. charities. Feel the need to discuss the used book you recently picked up? Stop by Riverby Books at 4:30 for an informal afternoon tea with your fellow bookworms.

Idle Time Books

Relax in a comfortable chair and lose yourself in a book on one of Idle Time Books’ three floors. Since 1981, Idle Time Books as been collecting and selling used books from its Adams Morgan location, right among the lively culture of the neighborhoods ethnic restaurants and nightclubs. You’re bound to find what your looking for in the 50,000 quality and used, recent and out-of-print books Idle Time Books has to offer.

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Along with a good book, newspapers, records, and CDs are also for sale. To learn more, click HERE.

Located in the heart of Adams Morgan, Idle Time Books has a lot to offer with 50,000 books in store.

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