7346 Baltimore Ave.
College Park MD 20740
Vertigo's co-owners and investors. Photo by Charles Steck.The Short Version
Vertigo Books is an independent community bookstore with an outstanding selection of literature, politics, kids, African American studies and the DC area's best sale books. We opened November 11, 1991 at Dupont Circle in DC with a specialty in international politics, world literature and African American studies. In April 2000, Vertigo Books moved to College Park, MD. Our knowledgeable staff is willing to help with special orders and more. We offer a free frequent buyer card and regular sales. Join our email list for event and sale notices.The Long Version
On November 11, 1991, we opened a new bookstore at Dupont Circle. We specialized in international politics, world literature and African American studies. We wanted anyone, no matter their heritage, to walk in off the street and see themselves reflected on the shelves of our store. We planned to host events, welcoming established and emerging authors. And we did...including hosting Barack Obama in August of 1995.
We've changed since we moved to College Park, evolving and following our customers' interests to become more of a general interest store with an outstanding selection of literature, politics, kids, African American studies and the DC area’s best sale books. But, first and foremost, we're an independent bookstore. What does that mean? It means when you look at our shelves, you're seeing a selection of books picked by us, not by some numbers-crunching corporate honcho in Piscataway, New Jersey.
The books that we feature at the front of the store are on display not because a publisher paid us to put them there, but for (primarily) two reasons: 1) We think our customers will be interested in them. 2) We think our customers should be interested in them. We admit to a degree of cultural imperialism, but maybe cultural evangelism is a better term.
Books on our shelves are there because we believe in them, like them, read them. You will always find Anton Chekhov here. Ditto the fiction of Stephen Millhauser, Edwidge Danticat, Caryl Phillips and the poetry of Sonia Sanchez and Frank O'Hara.
Browsing, we hope our customers find unexpected treasures on our shelves and stumble across great titles on the sale tables that you won't see anywhere else. Together we create a community of readers, sharing the wisdom, ideas and stories that books offer.And an odd article from Money Magazine.