It’s been a while since I’ve been to downtown D.C., considering it’s practically in my backyard. But after getting off the metro with a few minutes to spare before a meet-up, I took a quick stop into Kramerbooks & Afterwords, a favorite spot of my husband’s, to pass the time.
Kramerbooks is one of the few independent booksellers of Washington, D.C. Opened in 1976, the small store boasts a strong local following, thanks in part to the supply of both popular and lesser-known works, as well as the cafe/bar combo, Afterwords, it has squirreled away in the back of the store.
You can cozy up to the bar with your purchases, or treat yourself to a Kramer burger while people watching just off the busy Dupont Circle. I didn’t have time to venture into the bar on this visit, but the food and drinks are delicious, if a little overpriced. Still, it’s well worth paying the extra for the ambient atmosphere, and I’d advise all D.C. travelers to stop in at least once!
Although the space is smaller than your big-name bookstores, it packs a variety onto its shelves. I picked up a copy of Shusaku Endo’s Silence (Yes, I’m one of those people who wants to read the book before watching the movie), while my husband grabbed a historical novel, The Devil in the White City, that looked interesting. The shop also fully embraces its political roots, and offers a huge collection of historical and biographical works on politicians from Hillary Clinton to John F. Kennedy.
The employees at Kramerbooks are extremely knowledgable, and are more than happy to give you a recommendation or to point you through the maze of shelves to the item you’re looking for.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a cookbook, biography, or a stiff drink, Kramerbooks has you covered.
… See what I did there? Because books?