Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Politics and Prose

Most independent bookstore in DC, like elsewhere, have closed, but one of my favorites, Politics and Prose, is still around; it seems to be thriving, even in this age of e-books, kindles and online resources of all sorts. Jud and I walked up Connecticut Avenue toward Chevy Chase Circle on another blue-sky fall day to visit the iconic bookstore and immerse ourselves in books.

This bookstore, whose intrepid co-founder Carla Cohen sold the bookstore to two reporters before her recent death, initiated authors' talks and signings, book discussions, book clubs, writers’ support groups, and wonderful book events and networks from its early days in the 1980s. It linked the world of prose and the world of politics in unique ways, appropriate for its location in the nation's capital. It remains a book lovers’ haven and social network.

I browsed the various sections: fiction, non-fiction, mysteries, children’s books, DC history, biographies and, of course, politics. Jud and I had a cup of coffee at the nice cafe.   I remember how many hours I had spent there, the people I had met, the booksigning I had for my book Urban Odyssey, essays exploring DC’s migrant and immigrant history.

I could easily have purchased more books than I could possibly carry back to Sylvania with me.  It's a blessing when noted institutions that help define a city hang on for years. Politics and Prose is one of them, and DC is lucky to have it.  Maybe books will survive afterall.  
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