Boasting over four million books across three retail locations, the aptly named Wonder Book & Video is indeed a wonder to behold. Wonder Book is a book lover’s paradise that has been serving the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. area since 1980 and online audiences since 1997.
I took a break from book signings in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia to hop across the Maryland border and check out the Hagerstown location. If wading through long, tall rows of books is your cup of tea, Wonder Book is certainly worth checking out. Ample stock spanning the genres, all nicely organized and easily navigable, is what I found in the Hagerstown location, and locals told me it isn’t even the indie chain’s hub location.
In addition to the books, the store offers a healthy inventory of movies, games, and records as well. In terms of books, Wonder Book specializes in used mass-market books, rare collectibles, and new publisher’s overstocks. Each location is open to purchasing items from customers or exchanging them for store credit. And, unlike some stores, Wonder Book accepts all donations — books, DVDs, Blu-rays, video games, computer software, CDs, and vinyl. (No VHS or audio cassettes.)
With such a generous acceptance policy, Wonder Book inevitably takes in massive amounts of books. Those that don’t end up on shelves are donated to various charities, schools, and enterprises. Items that are ultimately unsellable are recycled. According to the store’s website, Wonder Book recycles approximately 500,000 pounds of paper, cardboard, plastic, and cans each year.
Unfortunately, I had very little time between appointments to explore Wonder Book. It’s the kind of shop in which you could spend hours roaming the aisles, and if a title you’re looking for isn’t on the shelves today, chances are it could be tomorrow.
Wonder Book & Video has three locations:
1306 West Patrick Street, Frederick, Maryland; 607 Dual Highway, Hagerstown, Maryland; and 15976 Shady Grove Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland.