News & Politics

5 DC Bookstores With Hilarious Twitter Accounts

Dancing GIFs and satire push these indie bookstores to the front.

Photograph by Caroline Cunningham.

It’s hard to avoid politics as a bookstore owner in the nation’s capital, as proven by Capitol Hill Books’ frequently viral Twitter account. But the satire is not only political. Nobody is free from the burns Capitol Hill doles out freely via daily tweets—including Oreo and their not-so-brilliant idea to use cookies and milk as a bookmark.

But the sassy one-liner account is not the only beloved DC bookstore on the social media platform. Indie bookstores across the US are using social media to push traffic to their stores and keep sales up, despite warnings that print books might die out, and so far, they’ve been successful.

Below, we rank the best DC bookstore Twitter accounts based on their use of satire, activism, and engaging tweets. Some stores fell out of the race due to their long-winded posts that serve only as event reminders with an Eventbrite link. Others, though, threw some wise cracks into their tweets to make the list.

5) Politics and Prose

Given the political bookstore’s plethora of high-profile events, Politics and Prose’s Twitter is full of clever reminders. Sometimes, a prominent name is even enough to make the tweet great (Ronan Farrow‘s upcoming Catch and Kill book talk earned a simple headshot and ticket link). Even better: They now have a spooky name on Twitter—Pendants and Pentagrams—signaling the store is ready for Halloween.

4) Bridge Street Books

There aren’t many jokes mixed into Bridge Street Books’ Twitter, but the idyllic Georgetown seller has some inspirational posts. While the shop admits its workers may be biased towards books about bookshops, the photos of its book stacks make you want to dash to the nearest park for a picturesque reading session.

3) Duende District

Duende District is a collaborative bookstore modeled after DC’s own heart with a Twitter account full of calls for activism. The collaborative, for and by people of color, sells in Union Market, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and Wall of Books. It’s Latinx Heritage Month all the time for Duende District with an #AbolishICE added to the name online. The store’s tweets reflect its mission with a bit of humor and GIFs mixed in.

2) Loyalty Bookstore

After Hannah Oliver Depp re-opened Upshur Street Books as another location of Loyalty Bookstore, the GIF usage has been at an all-time high. The owner himself says he has “zero chill,” even tweeting out a request for the Maryland Zoo to bring penguins over to their Penguin House-filled stacks. Come for the tweets, stay for the book smell (maybe even the books?).

1) Capitol Hill Books

CH Books tops the competition with tweets offering “great and unmatched wisdom” to remember CVS coupons (in a nod to the president), and to seek a serious relationship with someone who will bring you to Dulles. The account flips between self-deprecation and promotion, with the “dopest” and “unimpeachable” book selection one day and “phony books … written by a bunch of phony authors” the next. Despite going viral, Capitol Hill Books keeps most of their content DC-specific, including cracks at the validity of Navy Yard as a neighborhood. They may even be the first DC bookstore venturing into the world of TikTok, joining the likes of the Post‘s video extraordinaire, Dave Jorgenson.

Their best tweet to date: “Books!”

Honorable mentions: Busboys and Poets and Mahogany Books.

Editorial Fellow

Emily Martin is an editorial fellow for Washingtonian. She previously participated in the POLITICO Journalism Institute and covered Capitol Hill for The Durango Herald.