Now Open!

Alexandria’s New independent bookstore

Open every day 11am - 6pm

104 South Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

Reserve your copy today!



Shop Tunes IRL with Kyshona Armstrong - Saturday March 23rd at 7PM
Old Town Books is thrilled to host Nashville-based artist Kyshona Armstrong for our second Shop Tunes IRL.

The Shop Tunes IRL event series takes its name from our current shop playlist of songs we return to again and again. Kyshona Armstrong, a talented multi-instrumentalist and masterful storyteller, is at the top of that list. Armstrong is also an experienced art therapist, having brought the healing power of music to incarcerated and institutionalized youth and adults.

Check out Armstrong's interview on NPR's World Cafe: Essential and Emerging Artists. Host Ann Power refers to it as "music that has touched my soul." Come hear this exciting, compassionate, and powerful new voice - in a bookstore!

“The Unwinding of the Miracle” Book Party - Monday, March 25th at 6:30 PM
Join Old Town Books and special guests from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance for a celebration of the life of Julie Yip-Williams, bestselling author of the new memoir The Unwinding of the Miracle.

Julie was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer at 37—but before that, she’d already dodged death. Born blind in Vietnam, Julie narrowly escaped euthanasia by her grandmother, only to flee the political upheaval of the late 1970s with her family. Eventually, she made it to America, where a surgeon at UCLA gave her partial sight. Against all odds, she became a Harvard-educated lawyer with a husband and two daughters. When she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, a new journey began. Growing out of a blog Julie started because she couldn’t find the guidance she needed, this is an inspiring, instructive and shattering story of a life lived well and cut too short.

From Blog to Book - Saturday, March 30th at 6:30 PM
Join Old Town Books for our next installment of Read Write Now, a series of skill-building talks for readers and writers, on Saturday, March 30 at 6:30 pm. Memoirist Abby Maslin will share her writing journey from starting a blog to publishing a book.

In 2012 Maslin's life changed forever when her husband was mugged and suffered a traumatic brain injury. She shared her family's story, post by post, to help face her new reality. Her debut memoir Love You Hard: A Memoir of Marriage, Brain Injury, and Reinventing Love will be published by Dutton in March 2019.

This event will include a publishing talk, a group writing exercise, and audience Q+A. Attendees will leave with renewed inspiration and practical steps to take towards crafting personal stories to share online and in print.

This is a ticketed event. Admission price includes a signed copy of Maslin's book.

The Art of the Essay with Randon Billings Noble and Xu Xi - Tuesday, April 2nd at 6:30PM
Join authors Randon Billings Noble and Xu Xi for an evening devoted to the essay. Their discussion will focus on the challenges and opportunities of the essay form, with an audience Q+A to follow. We'll also hear both authors read selections from their newest works. Both essay collections, of course! 

Noble's collection, Be With Me Always, explores the hauntedness of life by considering how the ghosts of our pasts cling to us. Xi's collection, This Fish is Fowl, is a twenty-first century blend of the essayist traditions of both West and East. Book signing to follow.

Experimental Forms in Narrative with Jane Alison - Thursday, April 4th at 6:30PM
Join us for a technique-focused talk about writing experimental narrative forms. 

UVA writing professor Jane Alison illuminates the many shapes other than the usual wavelike “narrative arc” that can move fiction forward. The stories she loves most follow other organic patterns found in nature—spirals, meanders, and explosions, among others.

Meander, Spiral, Explode is a singular and brilliant elucidation of literary strategies that brings high spirits and wit to its original conclusions. In this liberating manifesto Alison issues a call to action: Let’s leave the outdated modes behind bring feeling back to experimentation on the page. This book on the craft of writing will appeal to readers and writers alike.

“Novelist Alison’s stylistic primer promises to stand apart, among the many writing guides publishing next year, in its tightly focused attention to the nuts and bolts of technique.” —Publishers Weekly, named a Top 10 Books for Spring 2019, Essays & Literary Criticism

Shop Book Club Meeting - Saturday, April 6th at 10AM
Join us for the April Old Town Books Club! We will be reading and discussing The Library Book by Susan Orlean, a 2018 Washington Post Book of the Year. Group discussion will be facilitated by bookseller Matt Gilson.

Old Town Books Club is free and open to the public. Buying the book at our shop is not required, but is much appreciated. Take 15% off your in-store purchase of The Library Book by mentioning the book club.

Friday, April 12th at 7PM
April is National Poetry Month!

Celebrate at Old Town Books with a poetry reading open mic. If you'd like to read a poem by your favorite poet or perform an original work please apply here:  bit.ly/OldTownOpenMic. All pieces must be three minutes or under. 

Jane Eyre Read-along and Meet Up - Saturday, April 20th at 10AM
Have you ever read Jane Eyre? Maybe it gave you big book angst and you avoided reading it in school? Or, are you a devoted Bronte fan, and just want a good excuse to re-read it with a group of book buds? Either way, this event is for you! We'll read Jane Eyre then meet for an informal discussion on April 20th, guided by special guest British Literature Professor Fiona Brideoake. This event is free and open to all - first time readers of Jane Eyre, devoted Bronte fans, and (especially!) ambivalent or intimidated readers picking it up for the first time.


Old Town Books is a new, independent bookstore in Alexandria, Virginia.

We’re a general interest bookstore that emphasizes community engagement through bookclubs, author events, writers groups, and workshops.

We’re open seven days a week. Visit us in the shop every day 11AM-6pm