sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

May 23, 2006

best of the independents
posted by soe 12:39 pm

I have mentioned before how jealous I am of those living in the U.K. because they have access to The Guardian in its hard copy format. It is possibly the best book paper in the world and easily surpasses anything I’ve seen here in the U.S.

This week they look at what makes a successful independent bookseller: “The Best Sellers”.

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of independent bookstores. I will patronize the national chains when I’m looking for something I know the smaller shops in my area won’t have (crossword puzzle books for Gramma, for instance), but if I’m buying a book for myself, it’s not going to be at a huge mega-bookstore.

Looking for quality independents in the D.C. area?

Olsson’s is a local chain with two stores in D.C. and three in Virginia (including one at National Airport). I’ve not visited their Courthouse location, but I can recommend without hesitation, any of their three other stand-alone stores. Dupont lacks a cafe, but you’re not missing it in that neighborhood. Over the last few years they have expanded from just selling books, cds, and dvds to include renting out art house/BBC movies and series. And they offer a free membership that nets you discounts over time.

Politics and Prose is what you envision when you envision a local bookshop — or what it would be if it regularly appeared on Book TV on C-Span2. It feels cosy, even if it has expanded over the years. New books and an area for readings are located upstairs and the downstairs is devoted to remainders, a great kids’ section, and a tasty coffeeshop.

You couldn’t go wrong with either one.

Via Bookish.

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