Best Bookshop in Which to Die Happily Under an Avalanche of Books
Capitol Hill Books
657 C St. SE, (202) 544-1621
The narrow passageways and towers of books mean Capitol Hill Books isn’t the best place for anyone claustrophobic, but it’s the best place to lose yourself for an afternoon on a used book treasure hunt. There’s a room devoted to mystery, a foreign language section, a cookbook area, and a “Cultural Closet.” The basement is where you find sci-fi gems and books on China; upstairs are classics like The House on Mango Street. And Capitol Hill Books’ owner Jim Toole is willing to join your quest for the perfect tome, even looking at estate sales and auctions for hard-to-find volumes. Leave your large bags at the desk—an overloaded backpack wielded carelessly could start a cascade.