Friday Favorite Five: Bookstores

Since I’m making this a regular feature of the blog going forward I made a new page for it that can be easily located at the top level menu on the navigation bar. This page will have all the upcoming topics and past posts. I have a really corny banner that I threw together, hopefully I can make a better one next week when I can use something other than Paint. 😀


Favorite Five Bookstores

  1. Wonder Book and Video – This is a used bookstore chain in Maryland. They have locations in Frederick, Hagerstown, and Gaithersburg as well as a HUGE warehouse in Frederick for all their online sales. I usually go up to the Frederick location because I have friends and family in the area. It’s a little bit of a hike, but totally worth it. They’re SFF section is huge and they have a lot of older books. It can sometimes be hard to find newer authors’ books there, but I come across them once in a while. They’re priced reasonably and often have sales like Buy One, Get One Free. I take advantage of those and stock up. Their online selection is also great and they offer free shipping within the US! Overall, I just love the atmosphere of this store and they have a lot of stuff that I don’t come across elsewhere.
  2. The Book Thing of Baltimore – This one is not technically a book store because…all the books are totally free! Located in Baltimore City, The Book Thing was started by a guy that had the idea to bring books to his friends that were teachers in need for classrooms. Eventually all kinds of people started giving him books and he had so many he started giving them away to others. The more he gave away the more people donated. Now there’s a warehouse with lots of shelves where people can donate books and the community can come in and take whatever books they want! I love The Book Thing because it’s just a great resource for the community, the owner is friendly, and you run into an interesting mix of folks there. You can usually find a lot of interesting non-fiction there. Their SFF section is very small and you have to get there early before someone comes and clears the shelf off, but I’ve found a lot of cool things there.
  3. Baldwin’s Book Barn – This is one that I’ve only been to once but it was so interesting and unique feeling that its stuck with me and I would love to go back. Baldwin’s Book Barn is in West Chester, PA which is a couple hour drive from me, but totally worth it. The atmosphere alone…five floors of books, every nook and cranny covered with shelves and books…it’s a book lover’s dream. There was also a very friendly cat hanging about the shop that was open to being petted. 😀 Their SFF is a little small compared to everything else they have there, but I still found some great stuff. Also, they have an interesting collection of rare and signed books up at the front. Overall, it’s just a lovely place to spend an afternoon!
  4. The Ivy Bookshop – Ok, confession, I haven’t actually been to The Ivy Bookshop itself, despite having worked right down the road from it at one point for nearly two years. This is another shop in Baltimore City. The reason I have them on my list is because they’re always at The Baltimore Book Festival in September and the work with local authors to have their books available for signings at the SFWA tent. Their staff is friendly and they’re a huge asset to the community. One of these days I’ll actually make it in to the shop proper!
  5. Atomic Books – This is another store that is close to where I used to work in Baltimore City, on the same road as the Ivy but further down into Hampden. This store is on the smaller side, but it’s really fun and feels very ‘Baltimore’. They have an interesting selection of things other than just books including toys and music. They also have author events such as signings and readings. This is one of those stores that makes you feel ‘cool’ when you walk into it. 🙂


I feel lucky because here in and around Baltimore, The City That Reads, we have a glut of great independent new and used bookstores. Here are a few others that didn’t make my top list but are also great, and even then I know I’m missing a ton in the area:

  • Ukazoo – Ukazoo used to be my go-to store. This one is a combo of used and new books, but I mainly go for the used because they have a buy 3 get 1 free sale. Recently they had to move and downsize, but they still have a pretty good selection, excellent organization, and they offer a lot of books from local authors like Michael Underwood and Scott Edelman (just to name a couple). I don’t find myself there as much as I used to but it’s still a great place to peruse!
  • The Book Escape – This is another used bookstore in Baltimore City. They’re also a bit small but man, they cram a ton of books in there. I love looking through the shelves. They also have a cool selection of older stuff.
  • Unicorn Bookshop – This is a store on the Eastern Shore of Maryland right on Route 50 so I often stop by there on my way back from trips to the ocean as it’s not exactly right down the road. This shop is two floors crammed full of all kinds of books. They’re organized well despite stack overflow on the floor. They have a ton of old and rare books as well.
  • Washington Street Books & Music – This shop is located in historic Havre de Grace, Maryland. My husband and I often go up there to stop at some antique shops (always on the lookout for new old teacups!) and we came across this shop while looking around one time. This store has a great selection of SFF, both older and some newer works. They have lots of other stuff in the shop too, but I was mainly interested in the books. 🙂


So, that’s my list. What are your favorite bookstores? Leave me a note in the comments or feel free to link up with your own post on the topic! Next week’s topic will be Favorite Five Sequels, hope you look forward to it. 🙂


17 thoughts on “Friday Favorite Five: Bookstores

  1. Tammy says:

    I didn’t know Baltimore was “the city that reads,” how cool is that?? I love the idea of The Book Thing, I think every city should have one. And now thanks to you, I’m going to be singing “Good Morning, Baltimore!” from Hairspray all day, lol😁

    • waytoofantasy says:

      Yep, one of our many mottos. 😀
      Hah! I’ve actually ran into John Waters a couple of times. And one time he bought a creepy old doll from a friend of mine at our local flea market years ago…fun times. He is super tall, super skinny, and fabulous all the time, lol.

  2. @lynnsbooks says:

    I just love book shops and unfortunately they seem to be in decline over here in the UK. You’re so lucky. And, don’t you just love the word ‘glut’ there simply isn’t enough opportunity to use it. So, if anybody is listening, I love a glut of book stores.
    Lynn 😀

  3. acupofcyanide says:

    I just found out about The Book Thing this summer and I love visiting! The Book Escape was the first bookstore I visited in Baltimore. Have you been to Norman’s? It’s pretty close to The Book Thing?

  4. Greg says:

    I love finding bookstores, especially quirky or well stocked ones. A lot of these sound great! Wonder Book and Video sounds amazing, and ooh online- I’ll have to check ’em out. A huge SF selection- yay! Baldwin’s and Unicorn sounds great too.

    • waytoofantasy says:

      You should definitely check out Wonder Book’s online store. They also have sales online once or twice a year so I signed up for their newsletter to keep an eye out for them. I think they have a standard sale online as well if you get so many books then you get a small percentage off but I can’t remember for sure. Happy shopping! 🙂

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