Bookshop Spotlight: Washington D.C.; Second Story Books

When I was in Washington D.C. late July for a conference, I made it my goal to visit at least one local bookstore with the hopes of taking home a piece of Washington D.C.

As one of the largest used and rare bookstores in the world, Second Story Books (Dupont Circle location) provided an interesting scavenger hunt for a book!

Atmosphere

While some of the books in the cases were out of my price range (I’m talking about books as far back as the 18th century worth thousands of dollars), they were certainly aged with character! After all, there’s something special about connecting with an old book. And while the air may not be friendly to the allergen-sensitive nose, used book lovers will still be in heaven.

Organization / Book-Finding Experience

Second Story Books keeps the rare copies within locked, glass cases near the front of the store. Beyond that, the rest of the used books are organized by genre. There are a lot of books, so it’s easy to feel a bit claustrophic and lost at first, but picking up on the organization system isn’t difficult once you settle in to the shelves.

My Haul

You know that feeling when you just happen to come across something you’ve been looking for for what seems like forever? Well, that’s exactly what I felt when I found Elatsoe in Second Story Books! This is a young adult novel that I’ve been dying to get my hands on (especially a used copy!), so when I looked at the top shelf of the Y.A. section I knew it was fate. Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger has Native American AND asexual representation – which is unique in itself – but also incorporates magical realism. I’m planning to read this beauty later in the year when the cold calls for a cozy read. Take a look below for the GoodReads description. This book may be calling your name, too!

Elatsoe (2020)

“Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream.

There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day.

Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.”

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