Local used bookstore on the brink of extinction

Store owners Diane Wilson and Ken Mahnken pose with their two store cats. (WTOP/Sophie Ho)

Sophie Ho, special to wtop.com

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Already Read Used Books, a secondhand bookstore in Alexandria, is what co-owner Diane Wilson calls a quiet shop.

On a muggy Thursday afternoon, the bookshop, located at the intersection of Duke Street and Moncure Drive, is just that, save for the occasional telephone call and the jingling of the bell tied to the collar of GwenieB, one of the store’s two cats. Around rush hour, the area outside is filled with the sounds of traffic, but inside the store the atmosphere remains hushed.

The shop is a small affair, a one-story rectangular building that is crammed to an almost bursting point with books


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