The Place: Idle Time Books
Where: 18th Street NW just south of Columbia Road NW
Why Live Near Here: Exposed brick, mismatched chairs, thriving house plants: This is Idle Time Books.
Small local bookstores, especially ones like this, are a rare and wonderful thing these days seeing as though ALL bookstores seem to be going instinct thanks to the digital age we’re living in. Yet Idle Time stays standing and is a delight for people who relish shops that remain true to themselves and remind us of the old Adams Morgan that many of us so fondly remember.
Things to Know: This past January, Idle Time original owner, Val Morgan, sold the store she and her husband opened together in 1981. Her late husband, Jacques, who passed away in 2012, maintained until his last days that Idle Time would stay in business forever, and Val wanted to make sure his wishes were granted. Val turned down several offers and waited until she had a buyer who would continue to sell books, not rip the store down because of the precious real estate value the store sat upon.
According to the Washington Post article that came out this January, few things are set to change right away. The new owner has vowed to keep Idle Time up and running and has considered some additions, like adding in new books for sale and a small coffee shop, but one thing for sure is going to change: the name. Val said “Idle Time won’t be Idle Time if Jacques and I aren’t running it”, so fair enough. We can’t wait to see what it’s new name is.
Fun Fact: Idle Time Books makes an appearance in A Few Good Men.