Jacques Rene Weatherly was born Sept. 1, 1950, in Norfolk. He was 7 when his mother remarried, and he was subsequently adopted by John D. Morgan, an Air Force colonel. Mr. Morgan’s mother, Suzon, who was born in France, took Jacques to live in Paris for part of his childhood. They later moved to McLean.
Besides his wife, Mr. Morgan’s survivors include his mother and stepfather and three siblings.
Mr. Morgan was a 1973 graduate of Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where he studied sociology and honed his interest in collecting books and comics.
During the 1960s, he once told The Washington Post, his stepfather gave him $500 to buy a car. Instead, he said, “I just bought more comic books,” expanding a collection that came to encompass nearly every comic book published by DC and Marvel between 1958 and 1972. His library included the first published issues of Spider-man, the Fantastic Four and the Avengers.
After college, he moved to Washington and worked at Second Story Books, a used and rare book shop. He also supported himself by painting houses. He met Val Johnson, who grew up in New Zealand, when she happened to stop in Washington during a 10-year trip around the world.
In 1981, they opened Idle Time Book Shop on Columbia Road in Adams Morgan. Six years later, they moved the shop to 18th Street. After Mr. Morgan’s comic book auction, the couple relocated their inventory of 30,000 titles to the shop’s current location in 2002, building an apartment for themselves over the store. Chairs for reading are scattered about the shop. A sign on a wall declares Idle Time “a cellphone free zone.”
As new and used bookstores across the country struggled and died, Mr. Morgan’s enthusiasm for his business and books — the kind he could hold in his hands — never waned.
“He did everything he wanted in life,” Val Morgan said. “He never went for a job interview. He never had to get dressed up for work. That’s a lucky man.”
In 2008, he learned he had colon cancer, a disease he would fight intermittently for the next four years.
In the last weeks of his life, visitors included employees of Idle Time lugging cartons of books up to the apartment for him to price. There were also friends, some of whom, while he closed his eyes to rest, Mr. Morgan encouraged to smoke his cigarettes and enjoy a shot of the vodka he kept in the freezer.