Dear PoPville – Books and Spas

Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

“Dear PoPville,

I’m moving and I have a ton of wonderful books that I don’t feel the need to take with me. Does Popville have a recommendation for where to give away used books?”


“Dear PoPville,

My friend’s birthday is on Saturday and I’d like to get him a gift certificate for spa services (massage and/or facial). Can you get suggestions from PoPville for man-friendly spas in preferably the Logan/Dupont area or up around Friendship Heights?”

38 Comment

  • The Grooming Lounge, no question about it.

  • As for books, the DC Library’s Takoma Branch accepts book donations. The location is at the corner of 5th St NW and Cedar St NW.

  • I’ve read some reviews on The Grooming Lounge and get the impression that it’s super macho (flat screens showing football, hot women working there, etc.). My friend is gay and so not into football… and the hot women would be wasted on him 🙂 That being said, do you still think that’s the right place? I just want him to go somewhere that will really pamper him.

  • Depending on the content/general condition of the books, many public or school libraries would be happy to have them. The high school library I interned with (not in DC) received almost no funding for new books and was so grateful for donations.

    Freecycle is always an option, or if you have a good deal of time, PaperbackSwap is great. You’ll get a bunch of credits when you get rid of your books that you can use to restock your library in your new home.

    • Another vote for PaperbackSwap!

      But I agree, it might not be the best option for last minute results.

      But if your local library won’t accept them (I know a lot of DC libraries won’t anymore, unless new, high-demand, etc etc) please please try Freecycle and Craigs List (especially as lots of people like to re-purpose books for crafts etc) before just leaving them out on the street with a “free” sign. Nothing sadder than walking by a pile of discarded books that probably no one wants three weeks later, after rain, dirt, dog pee, dead bugs, rat feces etc.

  • Spa at the Sports Club LA – best massages in town!

  • Logan 14 is a great salon and I think its fine for men or women. They use all aveda products and I think they may have a men’s specific line of products and maybe even a man’s facial or something.

  • Books for America is on 22/Florida and P. They take dontations, sell some and pass others on to schools etc.

    Red door spa is among the best spas in the city. Pricey, but they cater to men and women.

  • Like others said above me, you can donate your books to your local library. Even if the library can’t use your books for their collection, the library can still benefit from them by selling them in one of their bookstores.

    • +1.

      This (but call the library first to check).

      I don’t know how much business it does, but there’s a little kiosk in the MLK library that sells books.

      Further afield, I think the Montgomery County libraries have multiple Friends of the Library stores that sell books, etc., and would (I imagine) take your donation.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Before you take your books to a library call ahead to see if they take them. I come from a long line of librarians and not all libraries want book donations, but some love them.

  • Send them to the Spingarn HS library!!! I was just there yesterday and the librarian, Ms. Dobbsworth, is constantly in search for new books. When she can’t use them, she finds others who can. Contact the main office at 724-4525.

  • Depending on how broke you are and how much time you have, doing something like could be a good idea.
    I made a few hundred bucks doing it for myself and a few friends when I was unemployed.

    And then you donate the books – Salvation Army picks up, despite their crappy politics

  • I cleaned out my parents’ apartment and took a bunch of history-type books that were in great shape to the Petworth library because I thought their shelves seemed a little bare, but they only wanted them for the book sale. I was a little surprised. The books included things like biographies of Roosevelt and other hard-cover books that I thought would be useful for kids working on research papers. Then I remembered that kids don’t use books anymore. They go to the Internet. Alas.

  • Not sure how committed you are to donating the books, but I’ve had a good experience selling used books online at

    If you’re in a time crunch to unload them, it may not be viable because you have to type in the ISBN for each book to see if they’ll buy it, but you pack up the ones they’ll buy and slap a prepaid Media Mail shipping label they provide on to the box. Once they receive it, they pay you in store credit (slightly more) or in real money (slightly less) via PayPal.

    They don’t take everything, and it takes a little time, but I’ve thinned out my used books this way a couple of times. It’s a nice way to pick up some change for some of them before donating the rest.

    • mmmmmm, Powells… When we lived in the PNW, we would make trips to Portland just for Powells. Oh how I miss them.

  • My wife will take them all…. no, I will not give you her contact info 🙂

  • Grooming Lounge is good, I have given gift cers to several gay men and they all liked it. As for books, I went through the same thing and put an ad on CL under “Free” that said, tell me 100 words why youdeserve my awesome book collection and got 100 replies….Or just put them in plastic bags and put on CL/Free the location, they will be gone in 10 minutes. I tried to donate to libraries adn they rejected the offer (these were good books too).

  • Nusta Spa is really nice and same area as Grooming Lounge. For the money though you can’t beat the spa at the Mandarin Hotel. OMG is it nice. At least on the women’s side. And you can meet your friend for drinks afterwards.

  • I highly recommend Body Co. Spa in Dupont. (202) 293-8484. It’s no nonsense, but clean and professional. Great massages.

  • As for book donations, Friends of Southwest DCPL always accepts books. They have a fairly regular book sale, though it looks like the most recent was on Oct 22. I’ve always donated books there and they are appreciative.

  • The Chevy Chase DC Library takes donations any time the library is open, year round. They accept books in good condition (except text books) plus CDs and DVDs. Those that don’t go on the shelves get sold in their used bookstore on the 2nd floor. The proceeds go to support other DC libraries, too, not just Chevy Chase.

  • For the books–try local hospitals or the VA–both for the patients and to stock the family lounges.

  • Well Being Massage, while not specifically tailored toward men, offers amazing massages… quality therapeutic treatments, not just foofy spa massages. As a massage therapist myself, I can tell you I’ve received numerous massages from several of the therapists there and have always been impressed. No I don’t work there 😉
    That said, getting an appointment there or elsewhere at such late notice may prove to be difficult. Good luck!

  • I love Bliss at the W. Shae gives the BEST facials ever (seriously, I love her) and I’ve had two massages by Tracy (male) and he’s very good and friendly.

    I just love Bliss…from the steam shower to the brownie bites in the waiting area, it’s just a great place. I’ve even been able to use to gym at the W prior to appointments for a complete “wellness” experience.

    I had a series of facials by Shae in advance of my wedding (like 4 months, 4 facials) and she never pushed products and is very good at her job. I think Bliss would make an insanely good gift for anyone – it’s not girly, it’s not manly, it’s just RELAXING.

  • If you’re set on those neighborhoods, Red Door is your best bet. It’s a little feminine, but not overly so. A man would definitely feel comfortable there. However, I think Bliss is definitely a better option in this price range. It’s got kind of a funky design, lots of blue, not frilly at all. Plus it’s at the W, so you can have drinks or dinner there too. If you don’t want to spend as much, I’ve had the best massages at Tusuva in Adams Morgan. I know they offer facials, but I can’t vouch for them. It isn’t really a spa but has a well-designed, spa-like feel, much more so than Logan 14. It doesn’t feel cheap or clinical like some massages places can feel. If you wanna go all out though, definitely go for the Mandarin. Can’t be beat, at least not in DC

  • I also endorse Books for America. If you have over 50 you want to donate they will come to your house for a pick up. They may not take all of your books, as they only take ones they can resale and/or donate. But if you have good stuff they probably will take it all.

    As a librarian who has had to deal with various types of donations I want to say that if we don’t want the donation we end up recycling it anyway. Always ask the library if they want the donation before dumping boxes of books into the donation bin.

  • Not a fan of Nusta. The front desk people are rude/unfriendly/unhelpful. another vote here for well being massage. Try the Still Point in Takoma Park for a treat. Really lovely and I think men would feel comfortable there too.

  • Books for america

  • In response to the spa inquiry for men’s services….Logan 14 has a men’s Pure-formance line as well as many specialized products specific to the needs of gentlemen. We also offer a medical grade skincare line called Skinceuticals which two of our medical estheticians are formally trained in. We are currently offering a holiday manicure and pedicure promotion until the new year and also have two very talented massage therapists on staff. If you are interested in gift certificates they are available for purchase on our website or in-store purchase. Hope this helps!

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