Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
A delightful number of independent bookstores are setting up shop in D.C. these days, but the greatest grand opening this year wasn’t a new arrival at all. Riverby Books on Capitol Hill closed in 2014 after owner and beloved community activist Steve Cymrot was hit and killed by the driver of a truck. It looked like it might never return, but the shop, still owned by the Cymrot family, has been revamped and reopened. It’s both utterly adorable and easy to navigate (a rare combination) with a carefully curated collection, helpful recommendations, and complimentary tea service. In a word: perfect.