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For Love of Bookstores | Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe, Washington, DC

For Love of Bookstores | Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe, Washington, DC

What goes better together than a beverage and a good book?

Well, nothing. And Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe knows this little tidbit, and has been serving up amazing books and amazing eats and drinks in Washington, DC since 1976.

When I first arrived in DC, back in the ancient times of 2008 (Obama campaign was in full force, hope was high, Trump was still hosting beauty pageants), I was living the intern life. That means I was working crazy hours, trying to complete coursework for school, and the DC rental market had eaten every last penny I had saved.

Fortunately, DC is a city full of fun, free things to do, but I think my favorite thing was simply wandering around the crowded stacks of Kramerbooks.

I won’t lie – Kramerbooks is not like Powell’s. You can’t get lost in stacks on stacks on stacks and not see a soul for ages. Kramerbooks is a small bookstore, jam packed with stacks of the latest releases, the best topical political reads, and a ton of fantastic reads just waiting to be discovered. The last time I dropped by Kramerbooks – on a Friday night around dinner time – it was PACKED with people and piles of new releases. I snapped a photo for Instagram (follow us at @ImaginaryBookClub!) before digging into the stacks.

Amid this pile of releases from the past few years, I found at least a handful that fell into the I-meant-to-read-that category. No wonder that there were at least a dozen other people also leafing through the stacks looking for a great new read.

Kramerbooks would not be the destination it is without Afterwords

Serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a full bar and live music several days out of the week, Afterwords is a significant part of the draw of Kramerbooks and what makes it unique. I mean, what better way to spend the time before your dinner date arrives, or waiting for your reservation time than by browsing through the shelves??

Kramerbooks is also open 24 hours on weekends, making it the perfect place to stop in after a late night.

After several years in Baltimore, I’ll be making the move back to DC later this summer, and I cannot wait to spend more of my evenings and weekends hanging out with the crowds at Kramers.

About The Author


Whitney is the founder and one of the speediest readers behind Imaginary Book Club; delivering weekly book reviews, monthly favorites, and frequent recommended book lists with a side order of overwrought musings. After forming and joining book clubs in every city she lived in, Whitney finally decided to take the fun online to connect with fellow introverts who are also longing for a way to connect.


  1. Austyn

    Add this to the list! You’re taking us here 🙂

    • Whitney

      That’s going to be the easiest one out of what will likely be an incredibly long list. We shall go.

  2. Anna

    Great ode to one of my favorite places in the world!

  3. Whitney

    Kramerbooks! Love this place! They’re open pretty late too, so always great to go for a drink.

    • Whitney

      Totally! I always try to use it as a spot to meet new friends for drinks. Such a great place.



  1. Book Club Brunch | Chapter 17 | Imaginary Book Club - […] with Austyn and her husband. We’re having a lot of fun exploring the DC area (starting with Kramerbooks […]

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