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SEPT. 10-17

“Excuse me, college-educated minimum-wage slave who would rather slosh espressos than McFlurries, I’d like a frappuccino.” It’s Sunday around noontime. “Sure,” retorts the man in black behind the counter, “And would you like whipped cream to go along with the Dr. Shapiro’s Picture Perfect Weight Loss and Glamour tucked inside that copy of Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation you’re holding?” That’s when the entire Borders Espresso Cafe short-circuits, spritzing double lattes and fruit smoothies all over Borders bestsellers Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life and Tom Clancy’s The Bear and the Dragon. Now that’s the way to inaugurate Washington Book Sense Week. Alas, D.C.’s independent bookstores have a classier approach. This week they hope to draw serious readers back to their knowledgeable (yet friendly) confines by sponsoring interesting and creative events. T.C. Boyle (pictured) will read from his new novel, A Friend of the Earth (at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Olsson’s Books and Records; free); Donald Bartlett and James Steele will read from and sign copies of their latest, The Great American Tax Dodge (at 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, at Politics and Prose; free); and voracious young readers will even get to meet Curious George himself (at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, at A Likely Story Children’s Bookstore; free). Seven other local bookstores will also sponsor events and offer discounts to readers all week long. At A Likely Story Children’s Bookstore, 1555 King St., Alexandria; Blue Nile Books, 2828 Georgia Ave. NW; the Cleveland Park Bookshop, 3416 Wisconsin Ave. NW; Health Source Bookstore, 1404 K St. NW; Olsson’s Books & Records, 1200 F St. NW; Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW; Reiter’s Scientific & Professional Books, 2021 K St. NW; Sisterspace and Books, 1515 U St. NW; Travel Books & Language Center, 4437 Wisconsin Ave. NW; and Vertigo Books, 7346 Baltimore Ave., College Park. See listings for details. (Elissa Silverman)