Normal's Books and Records

425 E. 31st St., (410) 243-6888,

One of the greatest institutions this country has ever known is the independent used bookstore run by one or more eccentric weirdos. Normal's is just such a place, a cultural institution, a hub of Baltimore weirdness, which is to say, of real culture. It is the kind of place you can always find a copy of Joseph Mitchell, Herodotus in ancient Greek, Memphis Jug Band on vinyl, and some great forgotten book on Cubism between snippets of conversation with Rupert Wondolowski. If we have any hope in this big-data world, it is to be found in places like Normal's.

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