Behind the wrought-iron gate at the corner of Aliceanna and South Ann Streets, visitors will find two things: hundreds of handpicked books—displayed on wall-to-wall shelves, stacked on tables and benches, perched in the windowsill—and Julia Fleischaker, the owner of this new independent bookstore in Fells Point.
Since officially opening Greedy Reads in March, Fleischaker has transformed the cozy bookshop into a neighborhood salon of sorts, a breeding ground for community and community.
After spending nearly 20 years in book publishing, the Montgomery County native came to Baltimore in November and fell for the city’s community spirit and dedication to local businesses. Surprised by the neighborhood’s lack of bookstores, Fleischaker decided to take over the former Maja Jewelry space and stock it with a collection of novels, nonfiction, and kids’ books that balances the bestsellers with lesser-known gems.
“There’s a joke in publishing that everyone who works in the industry either wants to write a novel or open a bookstore,” says Fleischaker with a laugh.
Greedy Reads, named after the can’t-get-enough feeling of browsing for a book, is a one-woman operation, and it’s teeming with personality. Something that sets it apart from other bookstores is its thoughtful variety of titles, with an emphasis on books by women and people of color, as well as Fleischaker’s recommendations and frequent visits from Audie, her labrador-greyhound mix.
In addition to hosting a monthly book club, hanging handwritten “Why I’m Greedy About This Book” notes from customers, and organizing readings and talks from notable authors, Fleischaker plans to expand the store’s charitable components to local and national causes.
“A lot of people think reading is very serious and solitary,” says Fleischaker, “but books can bring people together, and mostly, they’re just fun. I want my store to say that.”