Best independent book store: Capitol Hill Books

Media Credit: Anthony Peltier | Photographer

Capitol Hill Books has soldiered on during the pandemic with its eclectic collection and all-too-relatable Twitter presence.

Readers’ pick: Kramers

Location: 657 C St. SE

We know Capitol Hill Bookstore is not actually in Northwest D.C., but it’s undeniably the best bookstore in town.

In a non-pandemic year, you can browse through three floors of book shelves stacked up to the ceiling. Its incredible selection of novels and passionate group of book-loving workers make it our pick for the best bookstore.

One of Capitol Hill Books’ most impressive traits is the way it adapted to the pandemic. The store reimagined book browsing, hosting “sidewalk sales” on the weekends where people can look through books outside. Rather than waiting in a line to get into the bookstore, customers can sign up for an appointment to browse the store inside.

The bookstore isn’t only good for D.C. residents – if you fill out a form describing your favorite authors and novels, store employees will piece together a “grab bag” with books customized to your genre and author preferences. Around the holiday season, I filled out the form with my sister’s favorite books and gifted her the grab bag for Christmas.

If you follow the store on Twitter, you might also be able to tell that it successfully brands itself as a hip D.C. townie who knows everything about District life. Its Twitter account, @chbooksdc, posts quips about city culture, book recommendations and updates on its next sidewalk sale. Thousands of people follow the account, and even a tweet with the word “books!” racks up more than 500 likes.

Next time you need a new read, Capitol Hill Books is your best go-to.

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