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Welcome to our store!

Welcome, book lover!  Books With A Past is an independent bookstore with two locations in Howard County, Maryland. The original store (the “mothership,” if you will) is located in western Howard Couny, just off I-70 in Glenwood. Our second store opened recently in historic Savage Mill.  We offer a variety of genres, as well as literary-themed gifts, for your perusal.  You are welcome to come in and browse, though of course we hope you will fall in love with some of our book or gift offerings and decide to give them a good home.

Books With A Past was opened in 1996 by Marvin and Mary Alice Schaefer.  Over the first few years, the Schaefers expanded from a small 1400-square-foot store with 7,000 volumes to 4,200 square feet and 100,000 volumes.  In December 2009, the Schaefers sold Books With A Past, name and all, to Erin Matthews. Since then, we’ve slightly downsized the original store and opened the second location.  Erin is an avid reader who has wanted to own a bookstore since she was 15.  She is grateful to the Schaefers and to the local community who have made this dream possible.

Books With A Past carries a little bit of everything, from astronomy to mystery to zebras.  Though we carry thousands of popular titles, we also offer extensive selections in more specialized disciplines.  We buy and sell books weekly in an effort to create as diverse and interesting a collection as possible.

However! We are not just a bookstore. In addition to selling books and gifts, we also offer the following services.

  • On-site tutoring in both locations
  • Professional editing and proofreading through our partner company, Ivy League Proofreaders
  • Large print subscription boxes
  • Downloadable audiobooks
  • Partner and Business-to-Business(B2B) sales

Book Clubs
We’ve got book clubs! If you’re interested in joining one of ours, or just looking for a venue for our own club, contact Erin via email at or call us at (410) 489-2705.
We’re also happy to help you order copies of your club’s reading selections!