This past holiday weekend, I was in a bind. I didn't want to spend money, I didn't want to be crowded by people, but I wanted to get out of the house and do something.
Then I remembered – I'd wanted to check out The Book Thing for a while now.
I have a soft spot for locally owned bookstores. My mom actually ran a children's bookstore out of our basement when I was a kid – and I still remember spending time down there surrounded by all the different books. Since then, I've added continuously to my book collection – much to the dismay of my brother in law, who always winds up moving them to my new apartments for me.
The history of the Book Thing place is pretty cool. It started out as a bar where teachers would trade books they needed and as word spread – donations started piling in. In 2000, the Book Thing got it's first start, and now – in 2015 – it's found a permanent home on Vineyard Lane.
The mission is perfect too – they're open every Saturday and Sunday, from 9 to 6 and the books are free.
Did I take too long to get to that part? That's right, the books are free. There are a lot of them too. I headed there on Sunday with my friend Sarah and we performed a somewhat strategic strike – leaving with about 15 books total in forty five minutes.
If you're looking for a specific book – this probably isn't the place you should go. But if you love reading, if you love books, you're insane not to check it out. I left with a whole gaggle of hardcover mysteries, and I have every intention of going back next weekend to dig through some more.
If you're looking for something specific, or just were born and raised in bookstores like me, there are some great small bookstores in the Baltimore area. Try checking out:
· The Ivy Bookshop in Mt. Washington
· Atomic Books in Hampden
· The Book Escape in Federal Hill
Happy holidays and happy reading!