Having difficulties finding your favorite book online? We’re here to help. Below we’ve featured 10 top independent bookstores in Maryland.
Located in the Pigtown neighborhood of Baltimore, MD, Charm City Books opened in 2019 as the local place for books, arts, and crafts. With over 5000 books in stock on nearly every subject, Charm City Books has something for everyone.
Events at Charm City Books are just as artsy and diverse as their book collection: they have the classic book clubs and story time, but they also have classes and workshops on reading, writing, acting, and learning to play musical instruments. They even have a storytelling series of events by local storytellers of all ages. Contact to stop by and see what else they have to offer at this funky and fun indie bookstore!
Opened in 2010 by Andrew Stonebarger, The Book Escape sells and trades new and used books from its Federal Hill location in Baltimore, MD. There is a book for anyone available through The Book Escape, as they have over 40,000 titles in storage on top of whatever is stocked on the shelves. If you can’t find it in store, you can use their in-house computer system to find it in the warehouse.
3. Ivy Bookshop
Originally opened in 2001 by Brandon Weigel, the Ivy Bookshop changed hands and locations in 2020 with a move into Baltimore City, MD. The Ivy Bookstore has been a haven for Baltimore’s bibliophiles, carrying new and used books topics such as popular and classic fiction and nonfiction, children’s books, and lifestyle titles.
The Ivy Bookshop hosts an average on one event every two days, from author readings and book signings to writers’ workshops and even yoga on the patio. Contact them via their online information to see what you can find inside the Ivy Bookshop.
Originally opened in 1986 in Colombia, MD, Second Edition Books has been the local community’s home for all things books, music, film, and gaming. As its name suggests, Second Edition Books specializes in trading and selling quality new and used books, depending on current stock and customer demands, and currently has books from over 50 different categories.
Not really known for their events, Second Edition Books has begun inviting local authors for book signings and hosting local community fundraisers. Contact them to find out when their next event takes place or how you can check out their vast inventory.
If you find yourself in the suburbs of Savage, MD, stop into Books with a Past. Opened in 1996 by Marvin and Mary Alice Schaefer, Books with a Past was passed onto Erin Matthews in 2009, when the Savage Mill store opened. There are thousands of titles available, and you can browse them either online or in house. There is even a monthly large print subscription box available to order for those vision problems which make it hard to read regular print books.
Books with a Past hosts a variety of events at both of their locations, from book clubs and author events to a ‘Books and Booze Happy Hour’ each month. Contact them to find out what else they have to offer and how you can trade in your old books for store credit.
The Greyhound Indie Bookstore in Berlin, MD, is the dream child of Susan Wimbrow and her husband Maury. Opened in 2018 after the publication of Susan’s debut novel, The Greyhound seeks to be a respite for the aspiring writer or bookworm to disappear to discover their next great escape. They carry bestselling popular fiction and nonfiction, alongside the bestselling indie books, as well.
If you travel from Silver Spring to nearby Kensington, MD, you’ll find Kensington Row Bookshop, opened in 2002. Kensington Row carries used, rare, and out-of-print books, with many titles focusing on Maryland writers and local interest stories. The shop itself is delightfully quirky, with its two floors stocked not only with books but with vintage gifts, vinyl records and posters.
Kensington Row also hosts some eclectic events, such as their ‘Let’s Get Artsy with Words’ series, which mixes art with a book discussion. Contact them via their social media to see when their next event might be and how you can join!
Janice Holmes and Jinny Amundson opened Old Fox Books in 2016 to be the epicenter of learning and reading in Annapolis, MD. Old Fox Books is proud of Maryland’s revolutionary past, taking General Cornwallis’ famous last words “We’ve got the old fox safe now” as inspiration for the name of the shop but also the décor; a painting of Cornwallis as an old fox hangs above the mantle in the main room.
This quirky and haphazardly decorated space evokes literary love and history through the atmosphere as well as the shelves; Old Fox Books houses over 10,000 titles on nearly whatever subject you are looking for. There’s even a coffeehouse next door. Even the events hosted at Old Fox Books are quirky and fun: more than just book signings and author talks, the children’s story house is told by the store’s mascot, Frolic the Fox. Contact them to find out how you can stop by to check them out.
Nestled in Sykesville, MD, is A Likely Story Bookstore, opened in 2006 to provide the local community with the same cozy atmosphere of the independent bookstores found in the bigger cities. A Likely Story Bookstore mostly carries used fiction and nonfiction titles, with the occasional new release on sale.
Events are the pride and joy of A Likely Story, with a new event taking place at least once or twice a week. They host book clubs, author events, story time, and local community activities in shop for anyone to attend. Contact them to find out more about what they have to offer and how you can stop by to check them out!
10. Uzakoo Books
Opened in 2007 in Towson, MD, Uzakoo Books has over 30,000 new and used titles in every category imaginable, with a large concentration of biography, religion, romance, and mystery categories. They even buy and trade used books in varying conditions.
Uzakoo (pronounced You-za-koo) Books offers the classic bookstore events such as book signings and author talks, as well as midnight release parties for the new installments in popular fiction series. Contact them to see how you can trade in your own secondhand books or stop by to check out what they have on the shelves!