Monday, April 10, 2017

Visiting Dupont - Kramerbooks & Afterwords

I'm no stranger to bookstore tourism, which you can read about here and here.  I had plans to spend a weekend in Washington D.C. recently, so of course I had to check out the map to see if there were any bookstores nearby.  It turns out - there were!

As I had already visited the other iconic bookstore of the area, Politics and Prose, I was so excited to pay a visit to Kramerbooks & Afterwords!  When my Uber dropped me off outside, I was struck by just how small the space seemed, and how many books there were.  Once inside, however, I saw that there was much more than meets the eye.

The space itself feels cavernous, with high ceilings stacked high with a huge selection of books.  On the walk from the entryway, there are books piled on tables and displays.  It feels like you've entered a literary wonderland.

I spent most of my time scouring the fiction section, which took up a whole wall.  There were the paperback copies of books you'd expect to see in any bookstore, like "the classics" and other perennial favorites.  What I was delighted to find was that, hidden amongst the populace were a surprising selection of books from very small presses.  It's funsies just to be around books, but encountering new-to-you things is the real reason I love visiting bookshops.  I walked away with three books from indie presses -

One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses by Lucy Corin (McSweeney's)
Tell Me How It Ends by Valeria Luiselli (Coffeehouse Press)
The Revolutionaries Try Again by Mauro Javier Cardenas (Coffeehouse Press)

In the very back of the bookshop is a dedicated cafe, serving coffee, cocktails, and meals.  Unfortunately, I didn't have time to try it out, but I will make a point to do so on my next visit. The shop is open from 7:30am-1:00am every day, except Friday and Saturday when they're open until 3:00am - so I have no excuse not to stop in next time I'm in town. Thanks for a great first experience, Kramerbooks!

Librorum annis