The Best Independent Bookstores in the DMV


Independent Bookstores across the US are making a come back (you can read about it here or here). We are lucky to have quite a few right here in the DC Area!

Many of these locations are hubs for activities with story times, lectures, author signings, and book clubs. Please check out their websites and events pages for more information. As always, we love to support local!

District of Columbia Independent Bookstores

Solid State Books

600 F H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

Solid State Books is located in the H Street neighborhood, just doors down from Whole Foods. They have a beautiful children’s area, and coffee, wine, beer and baked goods for the adults. Currently they have story times offered multiple times a week, and frequently host talks by up and coming authors. Visit Solid State Books event page for more specific information on story times and talks. Story Time is held every Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 10:30 am until 11:00 am a visiting author/illustrator, or staff. Thursday story time is for babies and toddlers, Saturday is for all ages 0-5, and Sunday is for 4 and up.

East City Bookshop

645 Pennsylvania Ave SE #100, Washington, DC 20003

This vibrant bookstore is located in the Capitol Hill area, just a block away from Eastern Market. They have a wide selection of children’s books and have story time every Thursday at 11:30 am for children and caregivers ages 0-4.

Politics and Prose

5015 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20008 (Northwest/Flagship Store)
70 District Square SW, Washington, D.C. 20024. (The Wharf)
1270 5th Street NE, Washington, D.C. 20002 (Union Market)

Politics and Prose has three locations – you can find them in Northwest DC, The Wharf, and Union Market. Looking to join a book club? Politics and Prose hosts more than twenty different book club groups, writing seminars, travel/day tours and classes. They also have a coffee shop at their Flagship location.  Check out their events page to see everything going on, including story times for your littles.


1517 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Kramers is not new to DC; in fact it opened as a cafe and bookstore (Kramerwoods) in 1976! They are located in the DuPont neighborhood and offer books, American fare, and beer, wine and cocktails. Click here to see their menu, and click here to visit their events page. Besides the traditional bookstore event offerings, in the next month they will have Live Jazz at their cafe, a benefit Comedy show, and free beer tasting.

Capitol Hill Books

657 C St SE, Washington, DC 20003

Capitol Hill Books is located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, just blocks away from Eastern Market. Are you looking for a rare or first addition book? Stop by Capitol Hill Books and ask a staff for assistance in finding it – if they don’t have it, they may be able to try and find it for you at an estate sale or auction. Capital Hill books sells used books, and takes books donations. Visit their events page to learn about being added to their event mailing list.

The Potter’s House

1658 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009

The Potter’s House is can be found in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. In existence since 1960, on their website they state they focus on “social movements, cultural studies, and spiritual traditions.” Click here to view their cafe menu, and here to read about upcoming events.

Bridge Street Books

2814 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

Bridge Street Books is located near Georgetown, and they note they specifically focus on humanities, but offer a selection of books. Take a stroll into Georgetown and browse these bookshelves.

Virginia Independent Bookstores

Scrawl Books

11911 Freedom Dr. Reston, VA 20190 

Nestled in the Reston Town Center, Scrawl Books offers a thoughtful and relevant selection of new books for children, teens, and adults in a welcoming space where people can browse, gather, and explore new ideas. We support local literacy efforts and freedom of speech, and strive to reflect and contribute to the diversity of Reston and Herndon and the surrounding area

One More Page Books

2200 N Westmoreland St, Arlington, VA 22213

Falls Church/Arlington cozy shop offering a range of books, wines & chocolates plus author events, tastings & more.  They offer a pleothera of puzzles!  The staff is extremely knowledgeable and they provide on the spot book recommendations as well as hand picked staff picks.

Bards Alley

110 Church Street NW Vienna, VA 22180

This Vienna bookshop  offers carefully curated literature and whimsical expressions of life. They offer carefully curated books, gifts and a wonderful selection/children’s area.  Their goal is to create a village of kindred spirits in support of our local and global communities. They are committed to serving Vienna through partnerships with local schools and nonprofits, promoting local authors and artisans, and providing a place for community connection.

Old Town Books

130 South Royal Alexandria, VA 22314

Old Town Books is a general interest local bookshop in the heart of historic Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. They’re passionate about building bookish community – join them for a book club or author event! The store has a new location on Royal Street.

Middleburg Books

17 South Madison Street Middleburg, VA 20117

Visit this enchanting bookstore located in a building from the mid 1700’s. They have an impressive selection of fiction, non-fiction, and books for children. Stay tuned as they share details about events, subscriptions, book clubs, literary gatherings, and more!

Maryland & DC Independent Bookstores

Mahogany Books

National Harbor:  121 American Way, Oxon Hill, MD 20745                   
Anacostia:  1231 Good Hope Rd., SE Washington DC 20020

Found on the National Harbor, this black-owned, family-run and operated.  Mahogany Books is a local independent bookstore that believes in social entrepreneurship. We take a leadership role in the African American community by promoting reading, writing, and cultural awareness as tools to improve self-esteem, self-love and ultimately our communities to enrich the lives of motivated individuals.  Expect to see book clubs, speakers and a focus on empowering black authors.

Loyalty Books

823 Ellsworth Dr, Silver Spring, MD 20910                                                             
843 Upshur St NW, Washington, DC 20011

Check out the Silver Spring’s Loyalty Books events calendar for story times (by children’s authors), books clubs to join, and even creative workshops for adults.

Busboys and Poets

2021 14th St, NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
450 K St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
625 Monroe St NE, Washington, D.C. 20017
235 Carroll St NW, Washington, D.C. 20012
2004 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE , Washington, DC 20020
5331 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, MD 20781
4251 S. Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206                                                           
6251 Mango Tree Road, Columbia, Maryland 21044                                                    
3224 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21218 

Busboys and Poets is a DC staple, bustling with culture since 2005. This independent bookstore and restaurant is a must on anyone’s DC bucket brunch list. Busboys and Poets has many locations to choose from – check their locations page to learn more about each location and their specific offerings. The food is excellent and it’s a family-friendly environment with healthier options on the children’s menu. See their events page here.

Are we missing any of your favorite Independent Bookstores in the DC Area? Which ones do you love? Let us know in the comments below!