Until it closes, the prices are halved: a hardbound volume or trade paperback goes for $2.00. If you can get to 17th and L Streets, you might find something you want for ridiculously little money. And that little money will go to a good cause, Turning the Page, an organization that promotes the engagement of parents in their children's education.
During these four years, it has served as a fine place to browse at lunchtime or after work, and the $4 maximum price has encouraged me to buy quite a few books, in quite a few categories:
- Diaries: of Evelyn Waugh and of Count Harry Kessler.
- Dictionaries: of French, Italian, and German, the first two fat and the last skinny; and dual-language dictionaries of English and each of French, German, Latin, and Spanish.
- Essays: on education by Diane Ravitch, on literature by Henry James.
- Histories: Die Kulturgeschichte der Neuzeit by Egon Friedell.
- Memoirs or autobiographies: of Anthony Burgess, August Fruge, Henry James, George Kennan, Wright Morris (both Will's Boy and A Cloak of Light, the latter twice), and Wilfrid Sheed.
- Novels: by Benjamin Constant, James Fenimore Cooper, Michael Frayn, Henry James and Dawn Powell
I would not be surprised to see Carpe Librum reappear in May in one of the open spaces at George Washington University. I hope that they will come back, and hope that they will find another space to use for a long stay.