Books a Million closing in Dupont July 18th

11 Dupont Circle, NW

A reader reports:

“Just went to the Books-a-Million in Dupont and everything is discounted, all sales are final, and the salespeople confirmed that July 18 would be their last day. I always hate to see a bookstore close, but if it had to be one I’m glad it wasn’t Kramerbooks.”

41 Comment

  • maxwell smart

    I can’t really say this will be missed. The few times I went in there I felt like half the store was toys and novelty items and the book selection was akin to what I would expect to find an airport bookstore / Target. Interested to see what will fill this space.

    • Yeah, I never really saw much of interest in BAM-the airport book store comparison is fitting. I think I always judged it harder because it’s right up the street from Kramerbooks, (which probably has a much smaller budget) but always has something interesting and different on display.

    • Yeah I’ve never been a fan of BAM. I know Amazon is making all new-book stores circle the drain, but BAM seemed to buy into the philosophy of “let’s just sell a bunch of other crap too” more than “let’s know about books and make looking at physical shelves a good experience.” No offense to employees that might have been brilliant – just saying, the brand seems to have jumped the shark.

  • Crazy huge space. Wegmans! just kidding. BAM was great and it really will be a void in terms of real estate

  • Blithe

    Bummer. I remember this when it was another bookstore — maybe Crown books. This has never been my shop of choice for the neighborhood, but I recently discovered that it has / had one of the best selections of magazines in town. I’m sorry to see it go. I hope the space gets used for something interesting.

  • I liked this store *because* of the toys and novelties, there aren’t other places in that neighborhood to pick up an inexpensive but fun gift (like a little portable microscope or a travel-sized game). And their magazine selection was great.
    Any word on what will go in instead? I’m waiting until I hear what this space will become before deciding if I will miss BAM or not. Last year there was a rumor about a natural foods market, but that seems like old news.

  • Too bad. But, actually more surprised they lasted this long. I hope they fill the spot soon and it doesn’t sit empty for a long time. Dupont is seeming a little passé lately. Perhaps a mid-market retailer like Uniqlo, Century 21, or Top Shop will snatch it up. It’s a little off the retail corridor. But, they still draw ton of foot traffic.

    • A Uniqlo would be amazing! I’m excited one is coming to Tysons but I’d go a lot more often if there was one in Dupont. We can dream….it’ll probably become a restaurant or bar.

    • I think BAM must have had a deal with the devil to last the last 15 years. I remember being in high school and thinking “jeez, how is this place still in business.” All of those stores would be an amazing replacement. My vote is for Uniqlo.

  • I was a fan of it, because I could get the same book I’d get at Kramer’s for 5 bucks cheaper. Sad to see it go.

    • Why support a lowest common denominator national book chain over a well-curated independent bookseller? good news is Kramer has survived despite BAM’s existence (And Amazon, so far).

  • Agreed, the magazines were really excellent. It was a great pre-travel stop.
    Whatever goes there, fingers crossed it’s not yet another upscale steakhouse.

  • It will definitely be missed. Kramer’s has a much smaller selection and there was room for both in DuPont. DC is seriously lacking in bookstores already!

    • This is so, so sad, but hardly surprising. My kids absolutely loved this store, and I loved the fact that we could get books and toys on the cheap(er).

      I am sure whatever moves in here will either sell $20 cocktails or $5000 couches.

  • Egad

    It was nice to have a big bookstore on this side of town, although I was always annoyed when the checkout person would push hard and try to sell me magazines and Books-a-Million memberships. A few months ago when there were rumors that the store was closing, I asked a worker if it was true and he very confidently said “of course we aren’t closing! We are the only large bookstore left in the city!” Sigh.

    • maxwell smart

      “We are the only large bookstore left in the city!” Um… Isn’t there still a Barnes and Noble near Metro Center?

      • Egad

        Yeah, I was thinking the same thing but I didn’t want to break his poor little heart. He was so enthusiastic while trying to convince me that Book-a-Million would never die, so I just smiled and nodded.

    • As a former bookstore employee (but not BAM), it wouldn’t be a surprise if their clerks were required to sell a set amount of memberships and/or push magazines. If they didn’t, they would be written up.

  • Any word on what is coming?

    • My guess is a vacant space for quite some time. My money is on the landlord holding out for a big corporate tenant to come into the space (maybe a Wallgreen’s or something similar).

  • Went in a few times, but never found anything. Their frequent buyer club had a steep fee, as I recall.

    The chain is owned by some not quite Hobby Lobby types and I suspect that may be why the selection always seemed to have some odd omissions and more fluff and right wing junk than other book stores.

    They’re a chain that goes into second tier malls, it’s not like Kramer or P&P departing.

  • They should open another Comfort One shoes!

  • This saddens me. They were always good for a browse, and as people have noted, very good magazine selection.
    At least there’s still Second Story Books. (Right? They’re not closing too, I hope!)
    Maybe Kramer could reopen in the BAM space – they could use more room.

  • The new location for an expanded Fantom Comics perhaps? With a bar and tabletop and video gaming space and a dedicated gallery / event space?

  • Can’t say I’m surprised or will even miss it that much although they had a great magazine selection. Even though Kramers is 1/4 the size, I always find more that I want to read there than at BAM. Kramers does a great job of choosing good stock and displaying it in an appealing way.

  • CVS is going to replace it I hear

  • I’ve heard that the MLK library will be temporarily relocating there, in smaller form, while they renovate the main building downtown.

    Makes no sense for a CVS to go there since there is one, just renovated and expanded, directly across the circle.

  • Where do people “hear” these things? The last two commenters “heard” things that are completely different.

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