5 Must-Visit Independent Bookstores In DC

Lauren Piot Lauren Piot

5 Must-Visit Independent Bookstores In DC

Not only do these bookstores have the write books for you, they also pursue honorable endeavors for the community!

DC is home to many famous authors David Baldacci (born in Virginia), Tom Clancy, Langston Hughes spent time in DC, so did Walt Whitman. After all, DC is the nation’s capital where many bills and legislations are passed, so many great writers are among us, which has made DC a rich center for writers, thus bookshops. As Nancy Byrd Turner, an author born in Virginia wrote:

The Bookshop has a thousand books,
All colors, hues, and tinges,
And every cover is a door
That turns on magic hinges.

Below are wholesome local bookstores for you to visit to find your next book while supporting a local business.

1. Loyalty Bookstore

Established by a Black and Queer bookseller, aspired to diversify the book industry to be more inclusive of color and queerness. According to their website, “our intersectional community is important to our staff, therefore those are the books you’ll find centered in our store, in our programming, and in our promotions.” Loyalty Bookstore also has a variety of impactful childrens’ books as well. Support Black and Queer voices by shopping at this erudite bookstore.


2. Lost City Books

This characteristic bookstore located at 2467 18th Street Northwest, Washington, DC, strives to inspire book lovers to no longer shop on Amazon and encourages consumers to shop locally. Indeed, Amazon is a dominant competitor that diminishes local businesses. Lost City Books advocates Washingtonians to shop locally and support small businesses instead of from big corporations.


3. MahoganyBooks


MahoganyBooks is a Black-owned business that takes on leadership when it comes to the African American community and endeavors to promote cultural awareness through reading and writing to enhance people’s lives. Founders of this bookstore created a space where the Black community is properly represented. They have a special program called “Black Books Matter” where they promote and showcase all books written by Black authors to educate the community.


4. Lantern Bookshop

All of the books, prints, and other media at this store were donations, and the staff are volunteers who dedicate their time to keep this store up and running. The bookstore has an inspiring mission to financially assist women at Bryn Mawr College. Indeed, founded in 1977 by Diana Morgan Laylin Young, whose daughters went to Bryn Mawr College, she supported them through bookselling at this store, and this legacy has remained until today. Indeed, according to their website “all of our profits go to the college to support student’s summer internships.” Since 1977 they have raised $730,000 for this cause thanks to the rare and used book donations.


5. East City Books

This independent bookstore was founded recently in 2016 by a mother who wished to create a community in her neighborhood. By hosting book clubs, author meet-and-greets, and other community events, East City Books strives to create a community-focused space where book lovers of all ages, can come together and learn.


[Featured image: @loyaltybooks / Instagram]

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