11 E. 33rd St., (410) 814-0373, birdinhandcharlesvillage.com
Across the street from the JHU Barnes and Noble, which sometimes feels more like a bus terminal than a bookstore TBH, is Bird In Hand, a coffee shop and small-ish bookshop opened up by the people behind Mount Washington’s Ivy Bookshop and Spike Gjerde and Corey Polyoka. It is frequently crowded and people pop in there for events, but it seems like its thoughtfully curated selection of books mostly goes a little unnoticed. Blame part of this on the fact that nobody’s buying books anymore, at least not IRL, and it’s maybe because Bird In Hand feels like a coffee spot first and foremost, but head over to the other side of the store (leave your coffee behind, don’t fuck the books up!) and you’ll be surprised by a robust, well-curated selection, especially when it comes to music books, art books, and graphic novels. Not the usual stuff—and at the kind of place that could totally get away with selling the same bunch of books as everywhere else.