About Second Story Books

Since purchased 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 six 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 N.W. and the ROCKVILLE WAREHOUSE store at 12160 Parklawn Drive in Rockville, Maryland. Both stores are conveniently located on Metro’s Red Line.  

USA Today cited Second Story Books as one of the ten best bookstores in the country. The Dupont Circle store, frequently cited as one of the best bookstores in the Washington metropolitan area by Washingtonian Magazine, The City Paper and various consumer polls, marked its 40th anniversary in 2018. The 16,000-square-foot Rockville Warehouse store has received its fair share of praise, as well, from Washingtonian Magazine, Bethesda Magazine and Montgomery Magazine, among others. Washington Post book critic Michael Dirda wrote about stocking up on books at the Rockville store before a snow storm in Browse: The World in Bookshops (Pushkin Press).  Read some of our recent press coverage IN THE NEWS.

About Allan Stypeck

Allan Stypeck is a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers and is a Senior Member of the American Society of Appraisers

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

Over thirty-five staff members support our brick-and-mortar stores and our online operations. Please go to the CONTACT US menu for email and phone information. Feel free to ask for assistance.

Allan Stypeck: President, Second Story Books
Appraisals, Consignments, all Business Related Matters

Kim Stypeck: The TOMATO 

Warren Wigutow: Off-Site Purchasing

Zachary Green: Associate Member, ABAA
Special Collections, Dupont Circle.

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