Now Open!

Alexandria’s New independent bookstore

Open 7 days a week
Sunday - Thursday 11AM-7PM
Friday + Saturday 11AM - 8PM

104 South Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314


We occasionally close early for ticketed readings or workshops, please see the events schedule below, or call the shop at 703-647-9749 with questions.

Friday, June 21st at 7PM

Bad Romance Book Club - Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Join us for the inaugural Bad Romance Book Club! Join for a juicy discussion of Casey McQuiston's Red, White, and Royal Blue.

You can get 15% off the purchase of the book by mentioning the Bad Romance Book Club in store!

Friday, July 19th at 7PM

Bad Romance Book Club - Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors

Founded by newly converted romance addict and Old Town Books owner Ally Kirkpatrick, Bad Romance Book Club is co-chaired by Danielle Ballard and Kristen Coates, the official "Romance Consultants" for the shop (and the source of Ally's ruination.)

Join us for the July Bad Romance Book Club! We'll be discussing Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev.

Ticket price for this meeting one copy of the July pick, Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors for 15% off the cover price. For the ravenous romance reader: Upgrade to the two book bundle and get an extra 10% off, for a total of 25% off the bundle.

*If you would like to avoid the online ticket processing fee, please purchase your book(s) in the store before the July 19 club meeting. Make sure you mention Bad Romance Book Club to your bookseller to get the club discount.

About the primary pick, Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev: It is a truth universally acknowledged that only in an overachieving Indian American family can a genius daughter be considered a black sheep. Dr. Trisha Raje is San Francisco’s most acclaimed neurosurgeon. But that’s not enough for the Rajes, her influential immigrant family who’s achieved power by making its own non-negotiable rules: Never trust an outsider; Never do anything to jeopardize your brother’s political aspirations; And never, ever, defy your family. Trisha is guilty of breaking all three rules. But now she has a chance to redeem herself. So long as she doesn’t repeat old mistakes. Up-and-coming chef DJ Caine has known people like Trisha before, people who judge him by his rough beginnings and place pedigree above character. He needs the lucrative job the Rajes offer, but he values his pride too much to indulge Trisha’s arrogance. And then he discovers that she’s the only surgeon who can save his sister’s life. As the two clash, their assumptions crumble like the spun sugar on one of DJ’s stunning desserts. But before a future can be savored there’s a past to be reckoned with... A family trying to build home in a new land. A man who has never felt at home anywhere. And a choice to be made between the two.

About the bonus book, Once Upon a Tower by Eloisa James: As an extremely wealthy laird, Gowan Stoughton, Duke of Kinross, can have any of the maidens at the ball he attends. The only problem is they are all English and Gowan is not so certain they are suitable. He is accustomed to the hard-working lasses from his Highlands, not these dainty noblewomen who spend their days drinking tea or some other such nonsense. But then he makes the acquaintance of Lady Edith Gilchrist. Utterly bewitched by the emerald-eyed beauty with lush golden locks, he knows he must have her. "Edie" had the misfortune of being dreadfully ill at her debut ball and barely remembers what Gowan looks like. Even worse, she accepted his proposal the following day. Edie's only true passion is playing music—until Gowan writes a scandalous letter and stirs the most irresistible desire. Yet when they marry, Edie realizes her husband needs a lesson and locks herself in a tower. Somehow Gowan must find a way to enter the tower and convince his new bride that she belongs in his arms.

Saturday, July 20th at 10AM

July Book Club Meeting - The Tenth Muse by Catherine Chung

Join us for the July Old Town Books Club! We will be reading and discussing The Tenth Muse by Catherine Chung. Old Town Books Club is free and open to the public; RSVP is appreciated. Take 15% off your in-store purchase or pre-order of The Tenth Muse by mentioning the book club. Purchasing the book at our store is not required to attend, but is much appreciated - it sustains our free literary arts programming!

About the book: From childhood, Katherine knows she is different, and that her parents are not who they seem to be. But in becoming a mathematician, she must face the most human of problems—who is she? What is the cost of love, and what is the cost of ambition? On her quest to conquer the Riemann Hypothesis, the greatest unsolved mathematical problem of her time, she turns to a theorem with a mysterious history that holds both the lock and key to her identity, and to secrets long buried during World War II in Germany. Forced to confront some of the most consequential events of the twentieth century and rethink everything she knows of herself, she strives to take her place in the world of higher mathematics and finds kinship in the stories of the women who came before her—their love of the language of numbers connecting them across generations. In The Tenth Muse, Catherine Chung offers a gorgeous, sweeping tale about legacy, identity, and the beautiful ways the mind can make us free.

Roxane Gay calls The Tenth Muse "as ambitious and intriguing as the complex math problems Katherine, the protagonist of this remarkable novel, aims to solve. In this novel—the scope of which is staggering—Chung has crafted a story that is moving, elegant, and richly written.”

Kirkus Reviews starred The Tenth Muse, calling it "A powerful and virtuosically researched story about the mysteries of the head and the heart."

Saturday, July 27th at 10AM

True Story! Nonfiction Book Club - Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe

True Story! is the new nonfiction book club at Old Town Books. Join us for our July meeting, where we will be reading and discussing Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe. This conversation will be facilitated by bookseller Matt Gilson. 

True Story is free and open to the public; RSVP is appreciated. Take 15% off your in-store purchase of Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by mentioning the book club.

About the book:  From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions. In December 1972, Jean McConville, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of ten, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as The Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the I.R.A. was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. In 2003, five years after an accord brought an uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a set of human bones was discovered on a beach. McConville’s children knew it was their mother when they were told a blue safety pin was attached to the dress–with so many kids, she had always kept it handy for diapers or ripped clothes. Patrick Radden Keefe’s mesmerizing book on the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland and its aftermath uses the McConville case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with. The brutal violence seared not only people like the McConville children, but also I.R.A. members embittered by a peace that fell far short of the goal of a united Ireland, and left them wondering whether the killings they committed were not justified acts of war, but simple murders. From radical and impetuous I.R.A. terrorists such as Dolours Price, who, when she was barely out of her teens, was already planting bombs in London and targeting informers for execution, to the ferocious I.R.A. mastermind known as The Dark, to the spy games and dirty schemes of the British Army, to Gerry Adams, who negotiated the peace but betrayed his hardcore comrades by denying his I.R.A. past–Say Nothing conjures a world of passion, betrayal, vengeance, and anguish.

Saturday, August 3rd at 10AM

Old Town Book(s) Club - Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett

Join us for the August Old Town Books Club! We will be reading and discussing Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett.

Old Town Books Club is free and open to the public; RSVP is appreciated. Take 15% off your in-store purchase or pre-order of Mostly Dead Things by mentioning the book club. Purchasing the book at our store is not required to attend, but is much appreciated - it sustains our free literary arts programming!

About the book: One morning, Jessa-Lynn Morton walks into the family taxidermy shop to find that her father has committed suicide, right there on one of the metal tables. Shocked and grieving, Jessa steps up to manage the failing business, while the rest of the Morton family crumbles. Her mother starts sneaking into the shop to make aggressively lewd art with the taxidermied animals. Her brother Milo withdraws, struggling to function. And Brynn, Milo’s wife?and the only person Jessa’s ever been in love with?walks out without a word. As Jessa seeks out less-than-legal ways of generating income, her mother’s art escalates?picture a figure of her dead husband and a stuffed buffalo in an uncomfortably sexual pose?and the Mortons reach a tipping point. For the first time, Jessa has no choice but to learn who these people truly are, and ultimately how she fits alongside them. Kristen Arnett’s debut novel is a darkly funny, heart-wrenching, and eccentric look at loss and love.

Alexander Chee says on Mostly Dead Things: “I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel like it. There’s a gunslinger cool to every sentence, like someone is telling you the last story they’ll ever tell you.”

Friday, August 16th - Sunday, August 18th

Emerging Writers Festival 2018!

Join us for our inaugural Emerging Writers Festival, with multiple events every day, all weekend long, August 16-18!

The festival will be a weekend-long celebration of writers and writing, featuring a diverse slate of events including author talks, craft-of-writing workshops, a book and art fair, free public readings, and panels on various topics including the business of publishing. All overs of writing and aspiring writers, sign up to receive email updates about the festival at emergingwritersfestival.com. Tickets coming soon!


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 Sunday - Thursday 11AM-7PM and Friday + Saturday 11AM - 8PM.*

*We occasionally close early for ticketed readings or workshops, please see the events page for more information, or call the shop at 703-647-9749.