About Second Story Books

Since its purchase by Allan Stypeck in 1974, Second Story Books has grown from its small second floor location in northwest Washington, D.C. to become one of the largest used and rare bookstores in the world. During the pre-internet era of bookselling, Second Story Books had multiple locations from Alexandria to Baltimore, including the famous Georgetown Saville Bookstore location. With the growth of the internet, Second Story Books consolidated its brick-and-mortar presence into our two current locations, the Dupont Circle store at 20th and P Streets NW and the Rockville store at 12160 Parklawn Drive in Rockville, Maryland. Both stores are conveniently located on the Metro’s Red Line. 

Second Story Books has frequently been cited as one of the best bookstores in America by national and regional magazines, newspapers and numerous consumer polls. Second Story Books was listed by USA Today as one of the ten best used and rare bookstores in the country. We're excited to begin our next half century as a co-sponsor of PBS's nationally acclaimed quiz show It's Academic. Please join all of us at Second Story Books in celebrating the experience of “Open Books Open Minds”™ and remember “Reading is a Family Affair”™. Come Alive–Read!™

About Allan Stypeck

Allan Stypeck: President, Second Story Books. Senior Member, American Society of Appraisers (ASA); Member, Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA); Member, International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB); Member, The Manuscript Society.

Appraisals, Consignments, all business-related matters

Professional and Institutional Services

Second Story Books works with government and private institutions, colleges, and universities, helping them build their special collections through donation or purchase. Second Story Books has been engaged as agent for sale, intermediary or advisor by the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, George Mason University, University of Maryland, Columbia University, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and many others. See APPRAISAL HIGHLIGHTS for a more comprehensive list.

Accredited Appraisals: Allan Stypeck prepares personal property appraisals for the following purposes: donation, estate tax, sale, insurance and damage claims. See APPRAISAL SERVICES for more information.

Consignments: Do you own valuable books, autographs, photographs, manuscripts, paintings, sculpture or other decorative arts? Explore the possibility of selling your items through Second Story Books. See CONSIGNMENTS for more information.

Estate Liquidation: With over 40 years experience appraising and selling art, antiques, antiquities, decorative art, and books, we have a network of associates and venues that help our clients achieve maximum value. 

Second Story Books Provides Books and Other Items for:

  • Motion Picture Production Companies
  • Home Builders to Enhance their Model Homes
  • Interior Design Firms
  • Senior Living Facilities
  • Home Furnishing Retailers to Complement Store Displays
  • Hotel Lobby Decor

Book Repairs and Rebinding. Our in-house bookbinding service is not currently taking any outside work.

Contact ALLAN STYPECK for more information about any of these services.

About Our Staff

Kim Stypeck: Appraisals and Consignments

Warren Wigutow: Off-Site Purchasing

Zachary Green: Associate Member, Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America(ABAA).
Special Collections, Dupont Circle.


Over thirty-five staff members support our brick-and-mortar stores and online operations. To reach staff at a particular store or to inquire about particular services, please visit our Contact Us page.

POEM: Second-story Book Store

The following poem was written by former U.S. Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, while he was a Congressman in the 1970s. Reprinted with permission from the book Of Sons and Seasons, Simon and Schuster, 1978. The poem was inspired by  the first Second Story Books retail warehouse in Alexandria, Virginia.

Second-Story Book Store

Pages pressed between
water-soaked and warped
boards of cloth.

Hieroglyphics heaped
in deep layers of ink,
indecipherable in their mass.

Strangers come here picking
through faded titles,
sifting through the rubble
in search of a fragment,
some clue to the fate
of an ancient state
that rose and fell
under the weight
of crumbling time.

As if the words
could turn the keys
and unlock the
rusty rehearsal
of old mistakes
that we repeat
on the future's
shrinking stage.

I hold this volume.
I swing my axe,
hoping it will strike
some secret stone.

          –William S. Cohen