For a limited time, people who work, live, and visit DowntownDC have a bookstore to explore at 1350 I Street NW, across from Franklin Park.
Carpe Librum, meaning “seize the book,” isn’t your average bookstore. D.C. nonprofit Turning the Page operates it as an occasional pop-up to fuel the organization’s efforts to engage families for student success.
Although this is the first indoor pop-up for the organization since the pandemic began, Turning the Page President and CEO Jason King has been selling books for the nonprofit for more than 20 years, starting right here in downtown D.C.
“We’ll continue our outdoor pop-ups in the spring, but we’re excited to have an actual store again,” King said. “We’ve been eyeing this area for years.”
Carpe Librum started at 15th and H streets NW in 2000, and later popping up in various locations. King says this spot is another ideal one. While lights shine across the street at Frosted at Franklin, people can explore the stacks of used books, CDs, DVDs, and vinyl, everything available to purchase for $6 or less.
“We’re excited to have a bookstore again in the District’s downtown, if only for a couple of months, and the location’s proximity to Planet Word is a wonderful bit of serendipity,” said Gerren Price, President and CEO of the DowntownDC BID. “For a number of years, the BID has had a strong relationship with Turning the Page, as our annual series of pop-ups at Woodrow Wilson Plaza demonstrates. A temporary store enables this important nonprofit to have a more prominent presence and fills a critical retail void for downtown.”
If you’re the type to read books quickly, keep coming back for more: staff will be restocking the shelves daily. Additionally, you’re welcome to donate gently used books to the store.
You can feel good about piling the books high in your hands as you shop, as you’re supporting the mission of Turning the Page.
The organization, established in 1998, aims to help schools engage parents to increase student learning and build teacher and staff capacity. The goal is to ensure families of partner schools can access educational resources, such as books and enrichment and community learning opportunities.
“This is our fundraiser,” King said. “We’re hopeful people will see us and come by.”
Carpe Librum is located at 1350 I Street NW and is open from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The pop-up is expected to be open through the end of January.