One of the points of Baltimore that drew Julia Fleischaker, proprietor of the Greedy Reads bookstore, to maneuver right here after twenty years of the hustle and bustle of New York City’s publishing world was its accessibility and openness.
“It’s not a walled off or a gated community that you have to kind of prove your worth to gain access to,” mentioned Fleischaker, 46. “It’s everywhere, it’s all around us. It’s in the history of Baltimore, it’s in the present of Baltimore and a part of the future of Baltimore, and it’s accessible.”
Now with two retailer areas, 5 staff and an upcoming literary pageant, Fleischaker has turn into a fixture in her new neighborhood.
Previously a member of Temple Sinai in Washington, D.C., Fleischaker at present lives in Baltimore’s Upper Fells Point neighborhood together with her canine, Audie.
Fleischaker grew up in Chevy Chase and later attended the University of Maryland, College Park, the place she obtained a bachelor’s in American research. After graduating, Fleischaker labored for 20 years in New York’s publishing trade, largely for what’s as we speak Penguin Random House.
For a time Fleischaker thought of shifting again to the D.C. space to be nearer to her household, and he or she hoped to remain throughout the world of books in some capability. She started making use of for jobs, together with to some in Baltimore, and as she got here to know the town higher by way of coming down for interviews, a query took form in her thoughts.
“The more time I spent in Baltimore, the more I just kind of thought to myself, you know, ‘Why am I moving to D.C.?’” Fleischaker mentioned. “‘Why am I not moving here?’ It simply felt extra like a spot that I’d be completely satisfied to make my house right here.
“There was an energy, and it was kind of like a buzzing under the surface of Baltimore, that people are really kind of hungry to do things and to be involved and to be engaged, and I don’t find that that exists everywhere else,” Fleischaker continued.
As for her option to open a bookstore, Fleischaker famous that a minimum of a number of the accountability for that call might lie together with her father.
“I like to joke that this is all my dad’s fault,” Fleischaker mentioned, “because he said to me, when I was first applying for jobs, ‘Why do you have to work in an office? You’ve been working in an office for 20 years. Why don’t you do something else?’ And so he really put that bug in my ear about, ‘Oh, I guess I could do something else.’”
Currently, Greedy Reads operates in two areas, with one retailer within the Fells Point neighborhood, which opened in 2018, and one other within the Remington neighborhood that opened in 2019, mentioned Fleischaker. She described her first yr in enterprise as an arduous but essential studying alternative.
“I was the only employee. I slept every day here. I got to know the neighborhood. I got to know the industry; I had never worked in a bookstore,” Fleischaker mentioned. “So that first yr, I’d say — once I had no different booksellers and it was simply me and it was, form of, no relaxation for the weary — was so vital.
“And it was so meaningful to me in terms of getting to know people that live in the community and the neighborhood,” Fleischaker continued. “Learning the rhythms of a bookstore and learning what people are looking for and what people find interesting and what’s going to make them want to come in off the street.”
Greedy Reads’ choice consists of a wide range of genres, together with literary fiction, romance, kids’s books and science fiction, mentioned Fleischaker. She described the choice of her unique Fells Point location as being moderately fastidiously curated.
“I’m pretty obsessive,” Fleischaker mentioned. “I pick all of the books. So I go through all of the books that are being released and choose just the ones that I want to have in my 500-square-foot store.”
Currently, Fleischaker is making ready for her first ever upcoming literary pageant, The Lost Weekend, scheduled to happen May 13-15 at Greedy Reads’ Remington location at 320 West twenty ninth St. She considered it as a possibility to have a good time Baltimore’s literary tradition. The pageant will embrace authors resembling Hernan Diaz, Barbara Bourland, and Grace Lavery, in accordance with the occasion web site.
The inspiration for the pageant was the results of two years of social distancing, Fleischaker mentioned, and the need to recapture the power discovered when folks come collectively.
“We thought, well, maybe we could just kind of throw something together in our store,” Fleischaker mentioned. “People are hungry to gather and hungry to hear stories like they always have been, and so maybe we can do that for them.”