Good second-hand bookstores and record shops in Washington DC?
November 16, 2012 11:39 AM   Subscribe

Good second-hand bookstores and record shops in Washington DC?

I'm going to have about a half-day to fill in during a work trip to Washington DC in December. I'm looking for suggestions for good second-hand bookstores and record shops. I'll be staying near Dupont Circle. I'm basically looking for the DC equivalent to Strand Books in NYC and Amoeba Records in SF. (There are some suggestions already here, but if you have other ideas, that would be helpful.)
posted by Grinder to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Sadly, you're not going to find anything like those in DC. In addition to the suggestions in the other post, check out Smash! records. It's small, but a DC institution.
posted by JoanArkham at 11:45 AM on November 16, 2012

I can't speak for records, but you'll be right by Second Story Books which has some really great things and is bigger than most local bookstores. (It is mentioned in the other post, but it's worth repeating.) A nice walk away is Idle Times in Adams Morgan; it's smaller but usually has good choices and great quirky stationery options. Kultura (also in Dupont) is much smaller, often has great modern art books and political books. In a different direction, there's Capitol Hill Books. If you're in Georgetown, there's the Lantern though a) full disclosure, it supports my alma mater and b) it's adorable but very small and with odd hours, though it's also not a bad walk from Dupont.
posted by jetlagaddict at 12:00 PM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

The vinyl lover in my life likes Smash (as linked above), Crooked Beat, and Red Onion

+1 for Second Story Books and Idle Times
posted by krakenattack at 12:03 PM on November 16, 2012

There just aren't that many used bookstores in DC, so the posts above basically cover it. Second Story is a must; they also have a small but nice selection of art, mostly prints. If you head over to Capitol Hill Books, also check out Riverby Books. It has a more limited selection than Capitol Hill, but it's much easier to browse (and you're less likely to be killed by a falling stack of books, although some people find that risk charming).
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 12:14 PM on November 16, 2012

Not a used book store, but still very cool: Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe & Grill.
posted by vkxmai at 12:58 PM on November 16, 2012

Red Onion is the best used record store close to where you'll be. I've never been terribly impressed by Smash, but admit to not having been for a while.
posted by OmieWise at 1:11 PM on November 16, 2012

Oh! Make sure to stop by Books for America, which is a used book store that has the book seleciton of a place like Kramerbooks Carefully culled, all profits go to charity, etcetera. One of my favorite places and you'll get some great finds out of there. A few blocks from Dupont at 22nd and P.

For a DC instituion, check out Politics and Prose, although this is definetly not close to Dupont.
posted by waylaid at 2:47 PM on November 16, 2012

It's about a 30 minute subway ride from Dupont Circle, but you might try the Arlington, Virginia branch of CD Cellar, near the Courthouse Metro station.
posted by gudrun at 6:38 PM on November 16, 2012

Books for America is definitely where you need to go. I like it better than Second Story, but with half a day to kill in Dupont, you'll have time for both.
posted by sashapearl at 9:48 PM on November 16, 2012

Check out Som Records
posted by Ironmouth at 11:40 PM on November 17, 2012

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