After more than four years as one of Washington, D.C.’s most beloved used bookstores, Turning the Page’s bookstore, Carpe Librum, will be closing its 17th Street location. Each year, the D.C. community donates thousands of gently used books, CDs, DVDs, and vinyl records that we then sell back to the community at bargain prices. All proceeds from Carpe Librum go directly toward Turning the Page’s family engagement programming. During Carpe Librum’s tenure in the Farragut North area, it became clear that the store had evolved into much more than a used bookstore to both occasional visitors, and regular guests. Any of our bookstore clerks can attest to the genuine pleasure Carpe Librum brought the community, and to the equally genuine sorrow its looming closure has brought.
Though, its 17th Street space is small, many customers would spend hours browsing, reading and finding a sort of refuge in the dimly lit, tastefully decorated, quaint little space – breathing in the comforting smell of used books, while enjoying the easy sound of Tracy Chapman or Nora Jones in the background. The allure of such a unique gem located in the middle of downtown D.C. has proven irresistible to many who work nearby, or happen to be passing through. Whether Carpe Librum served as a shelter from the rain, a lunch-time escape from work, or a relaxing way to spend free time, we’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the D.C. community for not only helping to support Turning the Page’s important work in DC Public Schools, but for allowing us to become a part of the community.
Earlier this month, our Board Members joined us in showing our appreciation to the community when they served as shopkeepers, greeting visitors, checking customers out, and bagging up their treasures. Staying open later than the bookstore’s usual 7:30 p.m. closure, Turning the Page and Carpe Librum staff and Board Members mingled with bookstore regulars and first-time visitors, enjoyed snacks and refreshments and reminisced about the many fond memories we’ve all shared throughout the store’s over four years as a downtown favorite. One customer, struggling to balance the pile of books in his arms, paused for a moment to say, “I’ll miss it here, this is where I’ve gotten all my books for the past three years – I’ll finish one, and then stop in the next day to pick up another. Now, I’m going to stock up all at once while I have the chance.”
From the Turning the Page and Carpe Librum team, we bid farewell to the Farragut North community, it’s been a pleasure, and who knows – we may “pop-up” somewhere else nearby.