Independent Bookstore Day is an event that takes place across the country on the last Saturday in April—this year, April 24. Even though the day will be more low-key this year due to the pandemic, customers can still show some love to a local bookseller by buying a book.
Some indie bookstores are also putting on events, either in-person or virtual. Those who stop by East City Bookshop, near DC’s Eastern Market, on April 24 will find special-edition books and other items sold especially for IBD. Bards Alley Bookshop in Vienna will also stock exclusive merchandise that day, or customers can tune in virtually for a children’s story time or evening wine-and-book event. Arlington’s One More Page Books will also host a few virtual offerings, including a discussion about modern romance novels.
Below, in honor of Independent Bookstore Day, is a round-up of 17 indie booksellers in the Washington, DC area.
Address: 110 Church St. NW, Vienna
This woman-owned bookstore and wine bar is hosting three virtual events on April 24 as well as offering some in-person specials. Customers can find details about the bookshop’s IBD events on its Facebook page.
Address: 3064 Mt Pleasant St., NW
This bookshop in Mount Pleasant is owned by former DC restaurant workers and offers a variety of cookbooks and other food writing.
Address: 657 C St., SE
This used bookstore on the Hill has three floors of quality used books, from first editions to rare finds. The shop is open only by appointment due to Covid; email firstname.lastname@example.org for details and for coordinating an appointment.
Address: 645 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
East City Bookshop—a neighborhood spot that hosts author events and a dozen different book clubs—will have sales and giveaways in the store on April 24. Customers can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Address: 1132 Prince St., Alexandria
Harambee—which means “working together” in Swahili—stocks not just classics but also hard-to-find small-press and independently published works by and about people of African descent, as well as traditional African clothing and gifts.
Address: 1555 King St., Alexandria
This specialty children’s bookstore, which also offers a selection for adults and young adults, is known for hosting weekly story times—though the pandemic has put events on pause.
Address: 1517 Connecticut Ave., NW
This longtime bookseller in Dupont Circle—known for its attached cafe and, more recently, a barber studio—can deliver book purchases through the Postmates app.
Address: 2467 18th St., NW
This multi-level shop specializes in used and out-of-print books. Drop in the Admo store to shop shelves of fiction, nature and science, signed and collectable, sci-fi, and more.
Address: 843 Upshur St., NW (inside Willow on Upshur) | 823 Ellsworth Dr., Silver Spring
Loyalty Bookstore—a Petworth neighborhood spot for good reads, unique stationery, and gifts—is right now open for appointment-only, in-person shopping.
Address: 1231 Good Hope Rd., SE
This local bookstore—dedicated to books written for, by, or about people of the African Diaspora—started out online in the early aughts. They have since expanded into a storefront in Anacostia Arts Center, where shoppers can find works by A-list writers, new voices, and local authors.
Address: 130 S Royal St., Alexandria
On April 24, Old Town Books is hosting the first of three monthly writing workshops, called Spring Into Writing. The workshop is free, but participants are encouraged to make a pay-what-you-can donation to Book Love, the store’s charitable-giving program that delivers new books to area kids in need.
Address: 2200 N. Westmoreland St., Arlington
One More Page Books’ first International Book Day event starts April 24 at 1 p.m. when customers can join a virtual drawing with artist Esteli Meza. Then at 3, the store is hosting an online discussion about modern romance novels.
Address: 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW | 1270 5th St., NE | 70 District Sq., SW |
One of the area’s oldest independent bookstores (founded in 1984), P&P is known for attracting A-list authors to talk about their books—with at least one author talk every day. It also hosts some 18 different book clubs. To mark Independent Bookstore Day on April 24, it has a virtual event from 8 to 9 p.m. called P&P Live! Indie Press Spotlight. Attendees will be able to learn about upcoming titles from independent publishers such as Europa, Graywolf, Milkweed, and Tin House. To register for the online event, visit Politics and Prose’s Eventbrite page.
Address: 2714 Georgia Ave., NW
Across from Howard University, this bookstore and cafe specializes in books, films, and programming by and about people of African descent.
Address: 11911 Freedom Dr., Reston
On April 24 and 25, Scrawl Books is opening its doors to a few lucky customers to shop inside for the first time since quarantine began. Appointments for April 24 are already full, but customers can still sign up for a few Sunday slots. Those who sign up will also receive a free Bookstore Day tote bag.
Address: 2000 P St., NW
This longtime Dupont establishment is known for buying and selling used and rare books.
Address: 600-F H St., NE
Solid State is still closed for in-store browsing due to Covid, but customers can place orders either by phone or email to pick up books, puzzles, games, and other items.