Hello Book Thing friends,

We are back for 2022!  Thank you for your patience while we worked through some operational and administrative matters in January.  As we gear up for our February opening, we’re relieved to see the latest COVID-19 wave subsiding here in Baltimore.

Upcoming events

We resume where we left off with our series of book giveaways falling on the second full weekend of the month. Our events always alternate between Saturday and Sunday.

  • Sun, Feb 13 – from 9a-2p/4p – limited book donations accepted until 2pm only, last entrance for browsing is at 4pm. Please see below for details.
  • Sat, March 12 – details TBD, limited book donations accepted

Indoor book giveaway: Sunday, Feb 13, 9am-4pm

PLEASE NOTE: Contrary to information you may have seen elsewhere, there is NO registration for this event. There will be an outdoor line for timed entry.  Please read the details below to understand how things will work.

We will allow patrons into the building to select their own books on Feb 13th, using a timed-entry format. All lines will form outdoors. Dress for the weather, bring an umbrella if it’s rainy, etc. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Masks are required, even if you’re vaccinated.
  • 55 patrons will be permitted to enter on the hour each hour from 9am to 4pm. The first entrance will be at 9am, and the last entrance at 4pm. FYI, the line is often longest for the morning entrances.
  • Patrons will have 55 minutes to browse our stacks, select their books, and exit the building. The time limit will be strictly enforced. You may get back in line.
  • Upon exiting, patrons will form an outdoor line to count their books and sign out. Yes, even if it’s raining.
  • If a patron exits early, a new patron who is waiting may enter on “stand by” and use the remainder of the 55 minute time slot. This new patron will not be permitted to stay beyond the end of the time slot, extend into the next time slot, or hold their original place in line for a later time slot. “Stand by” entry means you accept that you will have less than 55 minutes to browse.
  • Please don’t be deterred by our timed-entry format. From past experience, we know it helps keep the line moving so that you get a chance to browse sooner… and if we’re busy, this lets us serve more total patrons.
  • Patrons are responsible for their own social distancing inside the building.
  • A parent may be accompanied by one (and only one) child, and every child must be accompanied by one adult. Many kids aren’t vaccinated yet. Please make sure your child wears a mask.
  • Patrons will enter through the red room door and exit through the blue room door.
  • The restroom will be available, but you will not be permitted to enter the building to use it except when it’s your turn to be inside browsing for books. Please plan accordingly.
  • Spare boxes will be available to hold your books.

Book donations: 9a-2p

We will open the book donation window on February 13 from 9am to 2pm only.  This is our first of two scheduled book donation days for early 2022. To be honest, we don’t need many book donations just now. We still have a backlog of boxed books in our off-site warehouse, and the pandemic has made it hard to get them sorted and given away. But we know many of you have been saving books for us to share with the rest of the community, and we’re grateful for that! These days, we particularly welcome donations of popular fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, and classics. We’re finding it hard to keep these shelves full from our warehouse stock alone.

  • Book donation hours are 9am-2pm on 2/13. If we have to cancel the book giveaway for any reason, the book donation hours will also be cancelled.
  • The donation limit will be 4 boxes per family. Boxes must be small enough that one person can lift them when full.
  • We can accept all types of books except encyclopedia sets.
  • We can accept all types of popular and hobby magazines, but we can’t accept sets of academic/technical/professional journals.
  • We can accept all types of mixed media except cassette tapes. Reminder: no home-made content, please.
  • Please don’t bring us books that are moldy, sticky, stinky, or missing pages/covers.
  • All incoming book donations must be counted. This is a relatively new policy, and we are still learning how to do this efficiently; thank you in advance for your understanding.
  • Unfortunately, we can’t come pick up book donations, nor can we help you unload them from your vehicle.
  • If you have more than 4 boxes of books for children or young adults that you wish to donate, please Contact us separately.
  • We can only accept book donations as outlined above. If you leave books outside of donation hours, you may be cited by the City for illegal dumping.

Finally, if you are interested in volunteering with us in the future, please fill out the Contact form.  We are starting to move forward on trainings for small groups of new volunteers for the first time since the start of the pandemic.