The Baltimore Sun’s readers have voted on what’s the best in the region from antiques to urgent care. This year’s winners include people and businesses recognized for outstanding service and customer satisfaction over the last year. Several businesses stood out from the crowd despite the downturn in commerce due to the pandemic.
Winners of the Readers’ Choice ballot were selected by readers in May.
Atomic Books, the quirky indie bookstore in Hampden now in its 29th year, might have more personality per square inch than any other shop in Maryland devoted to the celebration of the written word.
What other store has an entire section of books about tattoos and another called “Books for Strange Children”? Where else are can you pick up, “How to Talk to Your Cat About Gun Safety” a manual purportedly put out by the American Association of Patriots (aka Zachary Auburn)?
Who, other than Atomic Books, collects fan mail for John Waters at the cult filmmaker’s request?
“Our motto,” co-owner Benn Ray says, is “literary finds for mutated minds.”
Atomic Books was founded by Scott Huffines in 1992, two years before Amazon.com was established. Over the years, Atomic Books developed a loyal following by providing a vast selection of titles about underground arts and culture that the mainstream bookstores didn’t carry.