Travel Books & Language Center in Washington, D.C., founded in 1984 by Rochelle Jaffe, closed its doors on November 30. Originally located in Bethesda, Md., the store moved to D.C. in 1997, doubling its size to more than 8,000 square feet. It was widely considered one of the best travel bookstores in the country, complementing its enormous collection of travel guides, maps, background reading and related cookbooks with an equally impressive array of language materials. The D.C. space included a room dedicated to store events.
Rochelle's daughter, Eve Jaffe, was the events coordinator, as well as a manager and partner in the business. After Eve died suddenly in June 2000, Rochelle decided to sell the store. She found a buyer this past summer, and was about to close the deal when the terrorist attacks occurred. The buyer backed out immediately, and no new buyers seemed likely soon. Rochelle made the difficult decision to close the store in the midst of a steep sales drop in travel books. Despite increasingly deep discounts, it took nearly three months to sell off the inventory.