July 2018 | Nate Pedersen

Capitol Hill Books Purchased by Employees

Capitol Hill Books in Washington DC, owned and operated by retired rear admiral Morton "Jim" Toole since 1995, was purchased recently by long-time employees of the store. Under Toole's ownership, the store became a community gem and attracted bibliophiles from around the world. The four new owners, Aaron Beckwith (a recent profile in our Bright Young Booksellers series), Matt Wixon, Kyle Burk, and Shantanu Malkar have vowed to "preserve the fiercely independent spirit of the bookstore and ensure it maintains its place as a literary hub of the community." 

Beckwith will step into the role of general manager, with plans to expand the store hours, increase its selection of rare books, and host more author events. Toole, meanwhile, will continue to work at the store and offer support and advice to the new owners.

"Old sailors never die; they just fade away," said Toole in an interview with Medium. "And youth will be served."

"Jim has shown me the ropes of the book trade for the past 13 years and provided me with detailed accounts of history's great naval battles, both of which I'm sure will be of paramount importance as I take the helm of this store," said Beckwith, in the same interview.

The sale was finalized July 12.