About the Competitors

Wandering down the streets of Washington.

Thinking about libraries and competitors, for time, for service, for convenience.

Saw this place.

Makes you stop and think.

Busy, and still in business…


About Ken Haycock

Ken Haycock is currently Research Professor of Management and Organization at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, where he coordinates graduate programs in Library and Information Management.


One Response to About the Competitors

  1. Bob Lucore April 8, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    Kramerbooks & Afterwards (pictured) is more of a cafe and bar than it is bookstore. It also offers live entertainment. It integrates these functions quite well for a pleasant customer experience.

    Interestingly, the proprietor, Bill Kramer, got his start managing his father’s store, Sidney Kramer Books, also in Washington, DC. Sidney Kramer had a fantastic collection of mostly academic titles that appealed to customers who worked at various D.C. think tanks, the World Bank and nearby universities. Sidney Kramer had to close in 1997, probably done in by the Borders that opened not far from there (and is obviously now gone too. Collections can’t stand alone anymore.

    Kramerbooks & Afterwards has been doing well since 1976. It gained some national fame by successfully resisting a subpoena issued by Kenneth Starr in 1997. Starr wanted to force the store disclose the purchases made by a then famous customer, Monica Lewinsky.

    If you travel up the same avenue a few miles, you will come to Politics & Prose, another very successful independent bookstore, with lots of author events, a cafe and other attractions.

    Perhaps it should be mentioned that all of the public libraries in this region seem to be thriving now too.