Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Book Escape - Baltimore, MD

The Book Escape, Baltimore, MD
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Everyone should be greeted and welcomed the way I was at The Book Escape.  I always take pictures of the store fronts on my visits, sometimes several.  The entire time I'm taking exterior pictures I was distracted by a man just inside the front door who was waving madly at me.  I had sent a note to Andrew S., the owner, but didn't think he would be quite this excited about my visit.  As I entered the store I was greeted as a conquering hero, not by Andrew, but by Coard, a store customer.  Heck, it took me 15 minutes of bookstore talk with Coard before I even got to say hi to Andrew.  What a pleasure it is for me on this journey to not only meet the owners and booksellers, but the customers like Coard who make visits to bookstores such a great part of my endeavor.  Just another experience that you can't get from Amazon.

As Andrew told me, the store has a pretty good location and has been here the entire 18 years of its existence.  It has good visibility on the very busy High St. and is in the Federal Hill area.  It has the Federal Hill businesses on one side and the harbor tourist area on the other.  The store offers mostly used books with some new, all on a one-level space with multiple rooms and nooks.  Don't be fooled by the one-level inventory however (which is extensive), because there is a basement full of books and a 2nd floor full of books all waiting to find their way to the main floor.  Chances are good they might have what you're looking for.  They also offer an assortment of collectable books, DVDs, and CDs.  

The most impressive thing to me though was the fine artwork available here, especially the Russian artwork created by Andrew's wife.  Intricately painted jewelry, uniquely decorative jewelry boxes, and much more.  If you are interested in Russian artwork this store is a must see.  The store does a lot of its business though online sales and I would strongly encourage you to check out some of this artistry in person or online.

Business is going well here and weekends are especially busy.  You'll find several parking options nearby so that helps to make a visit easy.  And you get to meet terrific 2-legged people like Coard and gentle 4-legged hosts like Lavonda, the store dog.  A win-win for everyone who visits.  So in addition to the great tourist sites, make sure you include this indie the next time you visit Baltimore.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

CURRENTLY READING:  The Hearts Of Men, Nickolas Butler.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  The Wright Brothers, David McCullough.

Another exterior view.  

If you enjoy historical buildings, check out this 1920 fire dept building, right across the street.  

An award-winning indie.  

View looking to the left from the front entrance.  

Looking straight through the store from the front entrance.  

I don't know how anyone could resist Lavonda!

Unique and artistic jewelry.  

You'll need to refresh yourself to see everything in this bookstore!

A few of the books of local interest or by local authors.  

Find this area to see a few of the collectable and vintage books.  

If you're visiting from out of town, these are always a good buy.  

If you're in Baltimore, you need to know about Cal Ripken.  

There are lots of kids and YA books in the store.  

There are several nooks in the store like this one.  I love nooks like this!

This store has many areas to cover so consulting this map is a good idea.  

Get some music to go with the book you'll buy.  

Nice display of award-winning books.  

A couple of great places to sit and try out a book.   

Keep going.  After you get to the back of the main room, follow the walkway to the left...

...you'll go through this patio area...

...and then enter another room filled with books.  This is how that room looks after you enter looking toward the left, which is the front of the building.  

Another great area to browse or sit.  

This is the front of that second room.  You have to visit this space, lots of great art work in this area.  

A view of the artwork in the front of the 2nd room, several genres.  

A very ornately framed portrait of Tsar Nicholas the 2nd and it is for sale.  This is a must-see if you stop in the store.  

I love this sign outside the store!

With Andrew on the right holding Lavonda.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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