A journal such as ours requires a vibrant literary and artistic environment to thrive—and even survive. In appreciation of the various cultural entities around us, we present “Meet the Neighbors,” a series where we provide you with personal introductions to a diverse assortment.
Little compares to a well-tended bookshop. Whether traveling alone or with friends, it seems that in every city I explore, I explore my way into a bookshop. Today Rebecca Oppenheimer offers you a peek into The Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore. Rebecca maintains The Ivy Bookshop’s blog, keeping visitors up to date about news in and beyond the literary world of the shop. Here’s what she had to say about the place:
Founded in 2001 as a more intimate alternative to the big chain stores, The Ivy Bookshop has grown from a beloved neighborhood fixture to a major presence across the Baltimore metropolis and beyond.
Our mission as Baltimore’s literary independent bookstore is to serve as a bridge between writers and readers – on a large scale by hosting and participating in author events and other literary happenings, and on a smaller scale every day by offering our customers the best literature of all types and genres.
We host over 100 in-store author events a year. Our recent events have included readings by Man Booker Prize winner James Kelman, Momastery blogger Glennon Doyle Melton, Edgar Award winner Paul French and national security expert David Sanger. Earlier this year, we launched two popular event series: Crimes and Misdemeanors, which focuses on the best in mystery, suspense and true crime, and Front Table, which spotlights authors of outstanding literary fiction and memoir. We also host many writers who hail from closer to home – from debut authors just building an audience to national figures like Laura Lippman, Jessica Anya Blau and Marion Winik. We’ve held panels and discussions on topics ranging from Jane Austen to the Preakness.
The Ivy is also a presence in the greater Baltimore literary community. Through partnerships with the Baltimore Speakers Series, the Enoch Pratt Free Library, the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University and other pivotal institutions, we are connecting all the time with new readers. We look forward to our annual appearance at the Baltimore Book Festival, where we get to introduce ourselves to a huge pool of book lovers.
So yes – we enjoy getting out and about! But an equally vital part of who we are is what goes on our shelves. The Ivy is a store run by book people for book people. Every member of our staff – both front and back office – loves to read and feels strongly about getting the best books possible onto The Ivy’s shelves. Will you find the latest bestsellers here? Absolutely! But you can also venture off the beaten path by delving a little deeper into our inventory.
Each of our sections includes classics and current popular titles – but also books you might not have heard of before seeing them on our shelves. We have titles from university presses, small presses and boutique imprints of larger publishing houses. These books are here not because they have a massive marketing budget behind them, but because we’re intrigued by them and think you will be, too.
We are delighted to count Little Patuxent Review among our partners. LPR shares The Ivy’s commitment to a thriving local literary scene, and to providing space for extraordinary voices, both established and new.
Rebecca mentioned the plethora of events that The Ivy hosts, and it’s absolutely true. Their calendar is flush with happenings through November! What she didn’t mention is that another way The Ivy Bookshop is working hard to connect readers and literature is their book club registry, which also well-worth checking out.
Of course, Rebecca’s words and your imagination can only take you so far. What you really must do now is navigate your way to 6080 Falls Road and begin to map out the yet uncharted regions of The Ivy Bookshop.