Calling all patriotic book nerds! We the people of Epic Reads, in order to create a more perfect YA community, establish this book nerd’s guide to Washington D.C., ensure joy to all book nerds, and provide YA book nerd wisdom!
If you find yourself in the nation’s capitol and in pursuit of reading happiness, follow this guide and you’ll be in on your way! Below you will find an infographic that details the best bookstores to visit, best places to read, authors that live in The Chocolate City and the quintessential YA books set in D.C.! (Want to print out the guide below? Click here to download the PDF!)
The 10 Best Bookstores in D.C.
1. Politics and Prose (Chevy Chase) – If this is the only books store we ever step foot in again, it would be enough. This place is classy, rustic, and has AMAZING snacks to chomp on while you’re invested in that new page-turner you just grabbed off the shelf. On top of that, their events are thoughtful and relevant. Check them out if you get the chance! Pro tip: Become a member and save 20% on like, literally everything. IT’S WORTH IT.
2. Kramerbooks & Afterwords (Dupont Circle) – First off, we like the punny name. Bravo to this bookshop. Even the less book nerdy will fall in love with this little bookhaven. Shop around this indie book store, find happiness and afterwords (get it?) head down stares for some sick grub.
3. Upshur Street Books (Petworth) – Upshur gets brownie points with us for a couple reasons- not only is their staff warm and friendly, but they also always make sure you leave with the book of your dreams. Also, it should be noted that on their website they’ve shared one of our favorite quotes and life mottos. “Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” Upshur, you are seriously our #bookspiration.
4. Idle Time Books (Adams Morgan) – This vintage book shop is the definition of #TBT. This store’s specialty is selling out of print and used books. It’s kind of like stepping into a time machine back to the good book glory days.
5. Second Story Books (Dupont Circle) – So many decisions!!!! Ahhh! Second Story Books has everything you will ever need or want to read. It’s like a warehouse for books- keep your friends close and your book nerdy friends closer, you wouldn’t want to lose each other in this book maze!
6. Bridge Street Books (Georgetown) – If you’re looking to get away from the crowds, head over to Bridge Street Books. It’s cute and quaint and will have what you’re looking for. Bridge Street offers a more zen environment, perfect for our yogi book nerds.
7. Potters House (Columbia Heights) -This bookstore/coffee shop is in the heart of Adams Morgan––one of the hippiest neighborhoods in DC. It offers some good old fashion southern hospitality for its guests. So kick back, relax and you’ll feel like you’re in your grammys house feeling soooo #SouthernComfortable.
8. Capitol Hill Books (Capitol Hill) – Capitol Hill Books proves that the best things really do come in small packages. They may be small, but they have some big deal books on their shelves. Book nerd will feel right at home in this cozy bookshop.
9. Carpe Librum (Downtown) – Books with a cause, what could be better? These people are seriously book saints. All the profits go to Turning The Page- a non-profit that help students and communities get access to educational resources (AKA books). Support this cause and visit their shop!
10. East City Bookshop (Capitol Hill) – This hidden gem rounds off our list of best bookstores in D.C. East City Bookshop. This is the type of neighborhood bookshop that we all wish we had in our town. Every time you walk into East City you’ll feel like you walked into your own personal library, the staff is super helpful and warm! FYI: It is located on the lower level so don’t miss it!
The 8 Best Places To Read in D.C.
1. The National Mall (Downtown) – The National Mall is the perfect place to feel patriotic AF while reading your next book. You’ll be surrounded by beautiful monuments, sights, and people. The energy is contagious and you’ll feel like your book nerdiness is an important part of history!
2. Busboys and Poets (U Street) – We can’t rave about this place enough. There is a small bookshop in the back, so pick up a copy of your favorite book, and settle down into a comfy chair. Busboys and Poets has AMAZING, and when I say amazing I seriously mean supercalifragilistic food. you won’t be disappointed. Plus after your book and meal, you can check out their live slam poetry on the stage out back! enjoy.
3. KoGod ( Penn Quarter) – It’s so pretttyyyyyyy. Kogod is essentially a park in a glass dome MADE for readers. It kinda reminds us of the capital in the Hunger Games, but less harsh and more perfect.
4. Meridian Hill Park (Columbia Heights) – There is a cascading fountain that will literally make you feel like you are in your favorite YA romance novel, and you are about to be swept off your feet, and OMG this book is SO GOOD. Find your little piece of heaven at Meridian Hill Park.
5. Tryst (Adams Morgan) – Book Hipsters you found your D.C. spot. The furniture, the music, the vibes, its all for you. Grab your beanie, coffee, touch of teenage angst, and head to Tryst.
6. The Ellipse (Federal Triangle) – Feeling presidential? Maybe you’ll meet the first family at The Ellipse. This 52- acre park is set right outside of the white house fences. It’s so close you’re like, essentially Obama.
7. The Coupe (Columbia Heights) – The Coupe is just a bright paradise for a book and coffee fanatic. If you’re looking for chill vibes, good grub, and a peaceful place to read the masterpiece you just bought- The Coupe is the place for you!!
8. The Coffee Bar (U Street) – The Coffee bar is exactly what you think it is. You’ll be able to smell the french vanilla coffee beans on the pages of your book for days- as if books didn’t smell good enough already……..
10 YA Novels Set in D.C.
- Diplomatic Immunity by Brodi Ashton
- Capital Girls by Ella Monroe
- Unbreakable by Kami Garcia
- The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
- All American Girl by Meg Cabot
- You Know Where to Find me by Rachel Cohn
- The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Alertalli
- Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
- After The Moment by Garret Freyman- Weyr
- Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter
5 YA Authors who live in D.C.
Next time you’re in the capitol keep your eyes peeled for these local YA authors!
Need a map of all these wonderful places you should visit? Here you go! We made this Google map just for you:
Are you from D.C.? What other bookstores and places to read would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments below!
Check out more book nerd city guides here!