Intrepid former Algonquin intern David Bradley and his trusty sidekick, Lucky the Leprechaun, hit the road this past summer for a tour of (almost all) the coolest, hippest, greatest indie bookstores in the United States. Join us for the journey…
WASHINGTON, D.C. — When I got to D.C., I knew that I was almost home. Finally back on the East Coast, finally in a city I’d driven to before, I knew I’d be able to make it back to N.C. even if the unthinkable happened and my majestic steed, Plata, couldn’t finish the last leg of the journey. With my worries gone and some dear friends by my side, I set upon the nation’s capital with confidence. Not that it lasted very long. Trying to board the D.C. metro I failed to find an active turnstile, choosing instead to run into a closed one three times. And when I finally did get on the metro I didn’t see a handicapped designation and sat in one of the four chairs that I wasn’t supposed to. Not exactly smooth, but considering how politicians have been acting lately, I figure people have done far worse during their time in D.C.
After surviving my own idiocy, I stopped in at one of the nation’s most famous bookstores, Politics & Prose. Aptly named for their city, Politics & Prose is known for author events and what is likely the best non-fiction book selection in the country, but there is a relatively new addition to the fold that is pretty amazing. Its name is Opus and it is an Espresso Book Machine that allows local authors to print professional products and book collectors to get copies of titles that have long been out of print. It’s worth the trip to P&P just to check Opus out, but you’re sure to be seduced by the store’s energetic charm and mountains full of books.
Marketing Director Lacey Dunham answered the Algonquin Questionnaire.
When did Politics & Prose open?
What was in this location before Politics & Prose?
I’m not entirely sure what was in the central store, but the fiction room was a liquor store and pharmacy before we took it over.
What is the oddest book on the shelves?
What is the oddest non-book item in the store?
We have a couple odd knickknacks. Michelle Obama Paper Dolls have been selling pretty well despite their oddness. And we sell this item that looks like a whisk but is actually supposed to be a head massager. That’s odd.
What is your favorite Algonquin title?
We all really enjoyed Rebecca Lee’s Bobcat and Other Stories from Algonquin. It has well drawn, funny characters and great female narrators.
What is the strangest question that you’ve been asked since working at Politics & Prose?
We get asked one question that always baffles me. It’s “Where are the stairs?” They’re the first thing you can see when you walk in the door…
Next stop: Kramerbooks and Afterwords in Washington D.C.
*Note: The Lucky Tour posts are not in real time. David and Lucky have returned from their travels with great tales and many, many books. Stay tuned for more road stories…