So the Huffington Post has written yet another travel guide to Baltimore. This happens periodically, and usually the stories are kind of meh-but-whatever. This one, though, had promise. It was allegedly A Baltimore Travel Guide for Book-Lovers. And since we love books, we thought: Great!
The HuffPo travel writer starts off strong, recommending that book-loving tourists spend the morning in Federal Hill, drinking coffee and visiting various landmarks from Laura Lippman novels. Fair enough. Then the guide sends readers to the Enoch Pratt Free Library, the B&O Brasserie (which has… nothing to do with books, as far as I can tell), the City Cafe (ditto), and the Owl Bar. That’s it! Not a single bookstore. Sorry, but that just doesn’t fly.
Here’s what a real book-lovers guide to Baltimore should include:
- The Ivy Bookshop, a wonderful locally-owned bookstore with regular readings from high-profile authors
- Baltimore’s “literary row” on 25th Street, where a handful of rare-book dealers make their home
- The Book Thing, our local source for free (yes, free!) books
- Red Emma’s, the radical bookstore/excellent coffeeshop, for all your zine/political theory/latte needs
- Normal’s Books & Records, by far the coolest bookstore in town. (Thanks to our commenter for reminding me to add it — how could I forget?!)
- Atomic Books! Of course!
- The Poe House/Museum, and the Poe gravesite. DUH
- The Peabody Library, which is regularly recognized as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world
And that’s just off the top of my head! Readers, what would you add to the list?
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