The Best Independent Bookstores in Baltimore

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Aparna Krishnamoorthy

When you are in Baltimore, there are plenty of spots where you can skip the ebook and pick up an old-school version instead. Browse the shelves of these great neighborhood bookstores to find the read you are looking for, or just wander your way through the genres.

The Ivy Bookshop

The Ivy Bookshop is an incredibly popular bookstore in Baltimore. It’s well-stocked and you can generally find niche titles that are not easily available elsewhere. Plus, they hold many author discussions and talks so keep your eye on the calendar.

The Book Escape

Used and rare books from nearly every genre can be found at The Book Escape, which is a cozy store organized by category. Take advantage of the outdoor patio to skim through any books you are interested in. A must-visit on your Baltimore bookstore tour.

Atomic Books

An eclectic bookstore (and bar) in Hampden, if you tend to read comics or off-the-beaten-track books, Atomic is the best place to start as you’ll find an incredible curated selection of comics, books, and even art toys. If you are a John Waters fan, even more reason for you to go – he collects his fan mail here.

Red Emma’s

This bookstore and coffee house focuses heavily on books about politics and social justice, so if that’s what you lean towards, head to Red Emma’s. They also host book signings and discussions, and offer a menu of vegetarian/vegan food to enjoy while you are browsing through their selection.

The Children’s Bookstore

As its name suggests, The Children’s Bookstore mainly offers books for children, but there are a few adult titles, too. A fantastic spot to get gifts for any kids in your life or to visit with those children who love to read. The helpful staff will guide you if you are unsure what to pick up!

Charlotte Elliott & The Bookstore Next Door

An antique store, the separate “bookstore next door” will draw you in with its shelves of books stacked by genre, bins offering deals, and sale items. An adorably charming bookstore, Charlotte Elliott has a wonderful inventory with a fabulous collection of titles. A unique treasure that is absolutely worth your time.

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