As the title describes we did surround ourselves by books on more than one occasion while honeymooning. And on at least one occassion we truly were surrounded!
Capitol Hill Books was one of my desired destinations to visit while in D.C. it is in the Eastern Market neighborhood which was about 10 blocks from our brown stone. I had read about the floor to ceiling books the store boasts to hold but was unprepared for what being that engulfed would be like. I am not claustrophobic but if I were there is no way I would have been able to set foot in the store.
Capitol Hill Books is the most stocked used book store I have ever visited. Now I can claim it to be the best stocked because I unfortunately did not find anything special enough to purchase, as I had so hoped. This book store ended up being more about quantity than quality. It was neat just to look around though.
As you can see from the bathroom no room was off limits. This was a hoard if I ever saw one.
We also made sure to visit the National Library. We got to walk through and look at Thomas Jefferson’s personal library, some of the originals were present which was neat.
The main library itself was impressive. I so wished we could have gone down and looked around. The room was stunning and so quiet, it seemed serene.
When I worked at the MRI facility one of the most interesting patients I had the pleasure of talking with was an older man who was retired from working at the Congressional Library. In truth I spent more time socializing with his wife as he was on the table being scanned but he certainly seemed to have lived a fascinating life. I thought of him as I stood there in awe. I imagined how wonderful it must have been to have a job like that.
A few days later we had intended to spend the afternoon doing some shopping, there were a number of vintage boutiques I had read about that I was dying to patron. That was the one day of disagreeable weather, which in turn worked in our favor. Although I did not visit all the shops on my list due ti distance and us trying to stay out of the snow flurries we did end up at a few book stores. Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe had always been on the agenda, I read about it months before our honeymoon. It was everything I hoped it would be. An amazing selection of books for young and old alike, we bought the kids one of their souvenirs there. We also enjoyed an delicious lunch, this is where I ate vegetarian and had the autumn vegetable hash that I have now successfully recreated at home twice. We purchased a coffee table book for our home from Kramerbooks as well.
Then later that afternoon we ducked into another book store cafe, Busboys and Poets, in order to take a break from the snow. We both got a hot beverage, a tea for me and some kind of coffee creation for Todd. We sat together on an old leather couch near a big picture window and watched the snow fall outside, it was quiet and beautiful, two things I love about winter days like that one.
After we finished our beverages we wandered around their bookstore for a little while. Although it was the smallest we visited while in D.C. it was without question the best. Quality, not quantity. In fact I would go so far as to say it is tied for the best book store I have ever visited. I am also very fond of a book store we have here called Bookmark It. The title is a clever play on words and it is located in the East End Market, a community gathering place Todd and I frequent on the weekends for craft beer and cold pressed juice. These two book stores are similar in that although they are small they are selective about the titles the sell. They are concerned about what people read and offer a different perspective to book buying. I love it. They are both socially responsible book stores.
While perusing this is what we found above some of the book shelves.
As busy as our honeymoon was Todd and I did have plenty of time to sit quietly and just be together. On more than occasion it was in these book stores we visited. I love that we share this love of books and thirst for information and understanding. Our honeymoon was so us. We learned so much and tried new things, we got to explore and just be quiet together. It was romance our way and it was wonderful.