by Susan Krause Bell
Most of us wouldn’t want Politics and Prose to change – it’s like a reliable old friend that is always there for you. When I learned earlier this summer that a facelift was being planned, it was a bit disconcerting. But it turns out that new owners Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine had some great ideas that they aptly describe as “more an improvement to the familiar than a wholesale makeover.”
It takes a minute to see the differences when you walk in, a bit like having your eyes adjust to the indoors on a bright sunny day. At first, it looks like the checkout counter is where it always was. But on second glance, you see that it now functions as the information desk. The checkout counter has been moved to the far right, with two additional registers to accommodate busy times.
These moves free up significant space in the center of the main floor, which the owners have put to good use, adding more shelf and table space and comfy reading nooks (although the best reading nook in the store, and possibly in town, remains the toddler alcove downstairs!)
The changes enabled the store to add more seating for their fabulous author events. The store, considered a plum venue by publishers, hosts authors every night and sometimes twice on weekends. To prepare for these authors, shelves are wheeled aside (though I can tell you from experience that you can still squeeze in to shop) and seating is brought out. The recent changes included slimming down two pillars so those of us who are late to events won’t have to crane our necks – a thoughtful touch!
New owners Brad and Lissa and the rest of the P&P staff put a lot of thought into what changes would make our experience as customers and friends even better. Now if only they could do something about that pesky parking lot….
Politics and Prose (www.politics-prose.com), is located at 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW. Hours: 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.