Washington is the perfect city for bookworms, with plenty of bookstores to suit all fields and interests. Here’s our selection of the top five bookstores to check out during your stay, with selections to fit anyone from secondhand book-lovers to engineering grads.

Politics and Prose

DC’s premiere bookstore for policy buffs has to be Politics and Prose. The independent bookseller, known for its incredible book talks with celebrity authors, also happens to have an amazing book collection. Stop by here to check out a lengthy biography and stay for a cup of coffee.

5015 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
(202) 364-1919


Located in Dupont Circle, Kramerbooks is one of the city’s best-loved spots for paging through the stacks. The homey independent store also has a restaurant and bar in the back, meaning you can page through a novel while enjoying a cocktail.

1517 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 387-1400

Idle Time Books

Head out to Meridian Hill Park for a quiet afternoon roaming through the bookshelf-lined rooms of Idle Time Books. The used book store is the perfect place to spend hours looking for a long-forgotten book of poetry or finding a quirky Christmas gift for your coworker.

2467 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
(202) 232-4774

Sankofa Video Books & Café

Petworth’s Sankofa Video Books & Café is the place to go if you’re interested in finding films or books that focus on Africa. The store doubles as a coffeehouse and stays open late into the night, making this the ideal spot for bookworms looking for a fun nighttime activity. The store also features interesting book talks from writers whose work addresses African themes.

2714 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
(202) 234-4755

Reiter’s Books

Planning to head off to graduate school or looking to find a time to help you out with a tough professional problem? Head over to Reiter’s Books, a professional bookstore in Foggy Bottom that specializes in textbooks and professional tomes, with a focus on engineering, science, and law.

1900 G St NW, Washington, DC 20006
(202) 223-3327