Director’s Desk:
A Thriving Independent Bookstore in a Shrinking World

September 2002
by Jan Nathan

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When visiting Washington, DC, most people go to the Smithsonian, the National Air and Space Museum, the Woodley Park Zoo, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and so forth. These are all wonderful places to see. But while on vacation in DC in July, I stopped at my favorite tourist spot. In fact, I visited it twice during the seven days I was in town.

Kramerbooks, with its wonderful restaurant Afterwords, is not only a fun place to visit. It’s also a lesson in how to succeed in the ever diminishing world of independent bookstores. Located in Dupont Circle, within walking distance of Borders and the Second Story (a very large used-book store), Kramer’s is filled with bookpeople day and night. When I read in Publishers Weekly recently that Borders had made an arrangement with a popular yuppie chain restaurant and was placing a bar and restaurant at several Borders bookstore locations, I thought, Kramer’s did that years and years ago.


Eating Up Books

I remember attending the Book Expo America in Washington, DC, a while back (when it was a smaller event called “ABA,” short for the American Booksellers Association convention). A group of us who had been working the show in our booths or just walking the floor decided to end our evening by dining at Kramer’s café, Afterwords. We didn’t have reservations. However, when we got there and were told the wait would be approximately 45 minutes for a table…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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