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Baltimore Goods

Best Used Bookstore

Normal’s Books and Records

425 E. 31st St., (410) 243-6888, normals.com

Normal’s is one of those places we love that we almost kind of avoid sometimes, because we have a tendency to get sucked in. Most times we stop in to look for one thing (sometimes a newish book, a used copy of which we happen across there more often than you might think) and manage to escape, but sometimes we wind up, oh, seeing if a copy of that recent history of Casablanca Records has happened to slip past the buyers, or if there are any new old Julian Barnes books we’ve been looking for, and that reminds us, what was the name of that Turkish author—not Orhan Pamuk, the other big name, from an older generation—whereafter somehow we wind up around the corner from the fiction area, near the bathroom, seeing if any fool sold back any Gay Talese, and then that reminds us and we’re back over in poetry, seeing if the Hollanders’ translation of Dante’s Paradiso might happen to have turned up, and by that point it’s almost an hour later and we’re late for where we were going when we stopped for one thing.

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