My home town Annapolis is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Washington D.C. Actually it’s a short drive and short metro ride, but you get the point. It’s close. In preparation for moving to New York I’ve visited our nation’s capitol twice this week to do some of my favorite things (and see some of my favorite people) in the city. For the next installment of our literary road trip, I thought I’d share some of the best bookish spots!
Stop One – The Library of Congress: Not only is this building beautiful, it is the largest library in the world. It has literally millions of books. There are free hour long tours of the building and here is more information if you actually want to do research. This is not to be missed!
Stop Two – The Folger Shakespeare Library: Unlike other libraries, The Folger Shakespeare Library puts on plays and publishes illustrated and newly edited versions of Shakespeare’s plays. It also has the largest collection of Shakespeare manuscripts and Renaissance books. Like almost everything in DC admission is free and the library is open from ten to five.
Stop Three – Politics and Prose: Politics and Prose is one of DC’s most famous bookstores. The bottom level has a great cafe and a very cozy children’s and young adult section. The top level is huge and is chocked full of very long staff recommendations accompanying the books. If you are looking to find something new or want to go to a reading in the city, this is the bookstore for you.
Stop Four – Busboys and Poets: This is another favorite bookstore (and favorite brunch spot!) of mine. It is named for poet Langston Hughes and the bookstore features politically progressive and racially/culturally diverse books. There are four locations, but the one I’ve visited is at 14th and V.
Stop Five – The National Book Festival: This event is one of my all time favorites. I feel like I’m over using the word favorite in this post, but I really mean it! I won’t get to go this year, but in the past I’ve seen favorite authors like John Green, David Levithan, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jenny Han, and Tayari Jones. I also first learned about The New School’s MFA program at the festival … a life changing moment! If you are going to be near the area on Saturday, August 30th then I strongly suggest you attend.