3620 Falls Rd., 410/662-4444,
HOURS: Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
This alternative, independent bookstore features tomes on culture, politics, humor, and music, as well as a thorough compendium of graphic novels and books, plus gag gifts, ’zines, CDs, crafts, and outsider DVDs. It’s also where director (and frequent shopper) John Waters gets his fan mail delivered—be sure to look at the collection of charmingly unnerving holiday cards he’s sent the store.
Atomic Books also stocks an amazing selection of limited-run art toys and figures from creators like Kid Robot and Rocket World. The store is large enough to have separate sections: toys and new books are in the front, graphic novels and crafts are toward the back, and in the very back (behind a discrete curtain) are mature-themed domestic and foreign publications, some artsy, some not.