Before the internet took hold, Second Story Books and Antiques boasted six locations all across Maryland. Now that it operates largely online, you’re lucky to live near one of the only remaining outposts of this book store, which is known far and wide as among the biggest used and rare bookstores in the entire world.
The Dupont Circle branch is right in your backyard and it’s stocked with hundreds upon hundreds of gently used books you won’t find anywhere else, not to mention an impressive selection of comics. Given that the independent shop celebrated its 40th birthday a few years ago, it’s obvious how much the store means to the community. Publications such as The City Paper and Washingtonian magazine have also crowned it the area’s best book shop time and time again. You’re welcome to come in and browse, but you don’t actually have to set foot in the store to evaluate its inventory. Second Story Books and Antiques auctions off many of its items on eBay, with some being available for immediate purchase (without the potential bidding war).