Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Philip Levy, RIP

Last week, The Washington Post carried an obituary of Philip Levy, founder and proprietor of Bridge Street Books. Levy founded the store in 1980. It remains one of a handful of independent, general-interest bookstores in Washington. Its philosophy and literary criticism shelves look more extensive and more interesting than those of the others, and its poetry section looks as good as any. It has been able to order books for me that another store hasn't.

The other independent bookstores I know have obvious constituencies. At Kramerbooks, the customers tend to be young, and live or work nearby. At Politics and Prose, the customers run more to the thirties or older, and their children. I was never at Bridge Street enough to guess what its constituency might be. Judging from the obituary, Levy developed to store to suit his own tastes, letting the customers find it if they would.


  1. I've only been to P & P, but Bridge Street sounds lovely--suiting one's own tastes is a good path. Too many bookstores seem a little of this, a little of that, and the usual suspects. RIP indeed.

    1. Bridge Street is handier to the parts of Washington that visitors see, being on the east edge of Georgetown, just where M St. meets Pennsylvania Ave. Kramerbooks, just above Dupont Circle, is handier still.