Pat Kennedy - Your Washington, DC Real Estate Connection


Politics and Prose: The Quintessential Washington, DC Bookstore

Politics and Prose:  The Quintessential Washington, DC Bookstore

We've seen a huge chain of big box book stores close its doors over the past few months, and at the same time, Politics and Prose, a small, neighborhood bookstore on Connecticut Avenue thrives.  And it's made it while the giants have struggled for a bunch of reasons.

First, they've made it interesting. And second, they really understand their customers and what their reading tastes are. 

  • They have a large selection of books.
  • There are lots of comfortable places where you can sit and try one on before you buy it.  
  • Everyone in Washington is a member of some book group, and Politics and Prose caters to them, with special orders and special pricing.  They even let groups use some of the space on their lower level for meetings.
  • They have frequent lectures and book signings by authors they know their clientele will enjoy meeting.
  • They have "Staff Picks" that are actually very helpful when you're browsing for you're not sure just what.
  • They have a music section with an excellent selection of classical and not quite hard rock music. 
  • They have a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi on the lower level.
  • They have a wonderful children's section, and it's where I go to buy all of my baby presents.  

We went there yesterday to buy an Atlas and to a travel book that would be good for an upcoming road trip.  And their selection rivaled that of Barnes & Noble, the competition that was supposed to snuff out the small neighborhood book sellers.  They had guides to every continent and countries I'd never even heard of. 

There is also a good foreign language section if you want to lose your mono-lingual status and maybe learn French driving from one appointment to the next.

So whether you are looking for a New York Times Best Seller or the latest book written by a journalist neighbor, you'll be able to find it here - why they even carried The Irreverent Guide to Real Estate when is was first released! 

If you are buying any sort of gift, you can find fabulous cards for any occasion, and they do gift wrapping for free.

And did I mention the free parking in the rear of the store (although it does fill up when they have special events).

I love this store! 



Comment balloon 13 commentsPatricia Kennedy • September 04 2011 10:31AM


OH BOY, Patricia!

This is a FANTABULOUS post! Not only because I am crazy about this bookstore...and just saw an author on C-SPAN speaki9ng from here...but because the content and photos are wonderful. Thank you, Thank you for taking the time to share this with us!


(and I'm "suggesting" this!!!!)


Pat, I LOVE this store too!  I'd much rather go to a non-box bookstore!  I used to live in the DC area for about 20 years, and visited Politics and Prose often.  Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Posted by Melissa Brown, Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale (Helen Adams Realty) about 9 years ago

Patricia- I love a real life bookstore.. one where the people who work there actually read books and always have suggestions for you.  There's nothing like being able to pick up a book.. read the jacket .. and know you want to hurry home so you can read it. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 9 years ago

This bookstore has such a fantastic reputation, I am not at all surprised to see a blog post about it!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) about 9 years ago

Pat - This is why I like to support the local hardware stores which are not BIG BOX and all the other local restaurants, etc. 


Posted by Ron Marshall, Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire (Marshall Enterprises) about 9 years ago


What a great place; nothing like a good book store to get lost in.

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD! (Coldwell Banker) about 9 years ago

I love stores like this -- sounds so warm and welcoming. Hope I get to visit it someday!!

Posted by Peggy Wester, Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County (Realty Executives Integrity) about 9 years ago

Patricia - We should all do posts on independent bookstores in our area.  They are rare indeed these days and need our support.  I could spend hours in a good independent bookstore (and sometimes do).

Posted by Gail Robinson, CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT (William Raveis Real Estate) about 9 years ago


Bookstores like this are SOO much more interesting. Reminds me a bit of Kramerbooks in Dupont Circle. I suspect this place will live on forever.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) about 9 years ago

Pat- Wish I'd thought to post something on Politics & Prose.  What a classy joint.  I go there for a lot of gifts, fundraisers, and to escape!  The coffee shop has some tasty food, too. 

Posted by Marcie Sandalow, Bethesda Chevy Chase DC real estate (Marcie Sandalow, Compass 301.758.4894 ) about 9 years ago

I love a bookstore like this. I used to have one in my hood for years bur B&N put them out of business.

Posted by Mitchell J Hall, Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn (Compass) about 9 years ago

Hi Pat, Sounds like a great place to catch up with yourself while taking in some reading or just taking in the atmosphere that this place offers.  I hope it lives on for many more years!


Posted by Gloria Todor, & Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA (Weichert Realtors) about 9 years ago

Ditto! And they have awesome speakers and a great layout and helpful staff. My son's school (St Albans, just up the road from there) used to have a regular field trip to Politics n Prose where a local author would read to the boys. Now Jack is in high school there... I miss those days!!

Posted by Ellie Shorb, Realtor DC, MD & VA Luxury Home Expert (Compass Real Estate) about 9 years ago