Baltimore, at one time, was called, “The City That Reads.” As an important and complex subject, reading provides the foundation for each activity in which we participate. No matter your taste in reading or preference in genre, there is a bookstore in Baltimore to suit your needs and satisfy your appetite for reading and knowledge.

Photo Credit: Caryn Coyle

Photo Credit: Caryn Coyle

Red Emma’s Bookstore And Coffeehouse
30 W. North Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201
(443) 602-7611

Red Emma’s is a grassroots bookstore and coffeehouse dedicated to an eclectic collection of books centered around political and social nature. According to its website, Red Emma’s was started to provide a place for authors to showcase and discuss their works. The business is unique in that it is owned by a collective of people. The hours of operation are Tuesday-Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Related: Best Independent Bookstores In Maryland

The Book Thing Of Baltimore, Inc.
3001 Vineyard Lane
Baltimore, MD 21218
(410) 662-5631

The Book Thing of Baltimore, Inc. has a goal of filling the need of people who are interested in books. This store also accepts donations of books through the generosity of the public. The hours of operation are Saturday and Sundays from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. According to the website, their mission is “to put unwanted books into the hands of those who want them.” There are waterproof outdoor bins available for you to drop off your unwanted books as donations.

Everyone’s Place
1356 W. North Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21217
(410) 728-0877

Everyone’s Place is a black-owned bookstore and African cultural center located on the west side of Baltimore City in Druid Heights. The store, now in its fifteenth year of operation, has a massive collection of books as well as cultural novelties and supplies. Whether it is books, oils, or locs-maintenance materials, Everyone’s Place has what you will need. According to Haki Ammi in this YouTube video, Everyone’s Place has the best and most diverse book selection on the planet. The store is often a host to book signings and discussion to help enlighten people. The store hours are Mondays-Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Credit: Book Escape

Credit: Book Escape

The Book Escape
805 Light St.
Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 504-1902

Located in Baltimore’s Federal Hill area, there are lots of new, used and rare books from which to choose from at The Book Escape. The store also buys used books that are in good condition and will take donations as well. In addition, the store hosts book signings. Nancy Mickelson, a customer for the past 19 years, touted positive aspects of the bookstore as good prices, wide selections, nice staff and a good atmosphere. The Book Escape has operated under the management of Mr. Stonebarger for the past ten years. The store is open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 12 – 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Atomic Books (credit: Pam Goldberg Smith)

Atomic Books (credit: Pam Goldberg Smith)

Atomic Books
3620 Falls Road
Baltimore, MD 21211
(410) 662-4444

Atomic is an independent bookstore is located in Baltimore’s Hampden area. It caters mainly to people interested in comics and magazines. Some books are available through consignment. Discussions are held on the last Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. with beer and cocktails often available. The store’s hours are 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sundays.

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Vickie Lawson is a freelance writer whose work can be found on