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broodings from the burrow

December 30, 2018

one last bookstore run
posted by soe 1:29 am

As I mentioned yesterday, Riverby Books, one of D.C.’s longtime used bookshops, is closing at the end of the year.

It has long been a favorite haunt of mine when over on on Capitol Hill, and I decided that I wanted to make one final pilgrimage before it was no more.

D.C.’s used bookstores each have their own unique feel. Capitol Hill Books is literally piled high with books. (They sit on the window sills, countertops, and in the bathroom, and used to be piled on the stairs until, I assume, the fire marshal shot that down.) Second Story Books in Dupont Circle has more of a storefront feel, with wide aisles and fluorescent lights. Wall of Books up Georgia Avenue is similar, but takes it further, being a bigger space, but it also is more a bookstore of the people, rather than of the collectors, so there’s less highbrow work and a broader selection. Idle Time in Adams Morgan has more ephemera (paintings and postcards), while Riverby fits into the upscale but laid back category, with a classy main floor (lots of wood, a couple wingback chairs, and a corner where you could brew yourself a cuppa to drink while browsing) aimed at adult bibliophiles and a cozier, more casual basement filled with kids books and a few overflow grown-up sections.

Riverby Books

Riverby Books

Riverby Books

For the holidays, they’d assembled book bundles — trios of books relating to a theme, such as classics or movie fodder or titles based on Shakespeare quotations. This one was my favorite:

Riverby Book Bundle

And did I come home with anything new, you ask?

Riverby Book Haul

As you can see, I had some luck finding an assortment of reading material. There are three books of poetry, including a local anthology; a classic; a middle-grade caper I’ve been meaning to read; three Christmas items (two dvd collections and one novella); and two books on language, including one by Bill Bryson. And with the closing sale discount, it all came out to less than $2.50 per item. Quite a good haul, if I do say so myself.

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