Browse these Baltimore bookstores to find your next great read.
There’s nothing you can’t find in Baltimore, and that includes a good book. The city has an endless number of charming independent bookstores and you’ll find one around almost every corner. Stop by at a couple of our favorites when you’re in Charm City.
- Address: 320 W 29th St, Baltimore, MD 21211(2 locations) | Website
Greedy Reads first opened in Baltimore’s Fells Point neighborhood in 2019; they soon expanded and added a second, larger location in Remington. Both are awesome spots to check out, though I do favor the Remington location because they have stage space for book readings, etc. In fact, there are multiple events a month, some virtual and some in person – sign up for their sunset cruise and book swap! Owner and former publisher Julia Fleischaker personally curates each of the titles available and you can’t go wrong with one of their picks.
Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse
- Address: 1225 Cathedral St, Baltimore, MD 21201 | Website
A bookstore, coffee house, vegetarian restaurant, and public event space, Red Emma’s truly is one of a kind. While you’ll find all sorts of books there, they’re mostly focused on topics such as local history, social justice, social movements, and political economy. Enjoy a salad or sandwich as you enjoy events such as open mic nights, book club meetings, or discussions with activists or authors.
- Address: 5928 Falls Rd, Baltimore, MD 21209 | Website
Locally owned and an integral part of the community, the Ivy Bookshop is one of Baltimore’s best independent bookstores. The recommendations made by their friendly staff are usually always on the mark and I’ve been able to find several niche titles that aren’t sold in many stores. That doesn’t stop them from carrying a broad range of books from literary fiction and current affairs to history and biography. Keep an eye on their website for alerts on author discussions, book signings, meditation and yoga classes, etc.
The Book Escape
- Address: 925 S Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21230 | Website
With new and used books to choose from, a visit to The Book Escape always ends with me coming home with more books than I can carry. The store’s maze-like layout, the comfy chairs scattered throughout, and the shelves stuffed from floor to ceiling give it the cozy feel you’d expect from a neighborhood bookstore. If you have your own used books you no longer want, trade them in and get store credit!
Protean Books & Records
- Address: 836 Leadenhall St, Baltimore, MD 21230 | Website
One of the largest book and music stores in Federal Hill, Protean Books & Records also sells board games, video games, and items that will make you nostalgic for your childhood. It’s a favorite with locals in the area because the warm and welcoming staff always makes you feel like family.
- Address: 2209 Maryland Ave, Baltimore, MD 21218 | Website
Minimalist and modern, Co_Lab Books is a bookstore with an expertly curated selection of design, architecture, and art books. You’ll find a large selection of books on Baltimore and Maryland, as well as books created specifically for younger readers. If you are an artist or designer, or are shopping for one, check out their array of cool gifts and games.
Charm City Books
- Address: 782 Washington Blvd, Baltimore, MD 21230 | Website
Charm City Books is where you want to go for everything books and book-related. Not only will you find a great read, but you’ll probably pick up a cozy candle, a coffee mug, and some bookmarks to get the party started. Join their Tiny Book Club, perfect for those with a busy schedule since every book is 200 pages or less.
- Address: 3620 Falls Rd, Baltimore, MD 21211 | Website
A Bookstore with a bar – could it be more perfect? Atomic Books has been around for over 25 years and is one of the more eclectic bookstores on this list. While you’ll find current favorites and popular literary fiction, you’ll also find underground books and comics and many DIY publications. They have a busy calendar full of book club meetings, groups, book readings, and more. Grab a book and a glass of wine from their in-house Eightbar and call it a day.
Charlotte Elliott and The Bookstore Next Door
- Address: 837 W 36th St, Baltimore, MD 21211 | Website
Charlotte Elliot is an antique store with a dedicated section for books that is large enough to warrant the title “The Bookstore Next Door”. Finding this charming bookstore is one of my top favorite moments and it felt like I was hunting for literary treasure within their enormous collection. There are bins filled to the brim and books stacked high all around; you never know what you’ll find.
The Book Thing of Baltimore
- Address: 3001 Vineyard Ln, Baltimore, MD 21218 | Website
The Book Thing of Baltimore is a nonprofit organization run completely by volunteers; all of their books are donated so all of the books are free. You can donate books (though they often limit it due to being overstocked) but you’re asked to bring along an empty bag (or two) and take as many books as you would like. Their main goal is to get the books into the hands of those who want them, and that’s exactly what they do.
Station North Books
- Address: 34 E Lanvale St, Baltimore, MD 21202 | Website
Owned and carefully curated by an English professor, Dr. Ned, Station North Books is a Baltimore bookstore that locals cherish. The book (and antiques) store is where you want to go for hard-to-find autographed copies or first editions of books. If you want the illustrated edition of your favorite book or one with pretty binding, Dr. Ned will find it for you.
Normal’s Book & Records
- Address: 425 E 31st St, Baltimore, MD 21218 | Website
A Baltimore staple for nearly 25 years, Normal’s Book & Records is a favorite because it combines the best of books and music. They have a large selection of both but have consistently been recognized as one of the best used bookstores in the city. You’ll find many hard-to-find titles in categories such as Greek literature or African-American studies. Normal’s also has a wonderful collection of books by alternative publishers and small presses. Take your time browsing because you never know what treasure you’ll find.