Russell Wattenberg is the man in charge and over the past 17 years, he has satisfied thousands of hungry minds. Russell calls this “The Book Thing,” because it’s not a library, and it’s certainly not a store. He said everything is free to cut down on robberies. In fact, they encourage shoplifters. The place is supplied by donations and run by volunteers.
In March 2016, a fire destroyed “The Book Thing.” For many small non-profits, there would be no come back from such a big loss. However, the following days, the people of Baltimore responded with cash donations and fundraisers, and more than a few new books. There are 7,000 boxes of books here now, just waiting to be set free from their cardboard confines.
“The Book Thing” reopened last month and no one is taking it for granted anymore, especially not Russell. He said he doesn’t have the patience to teach anybody to read and the only way he sees to contribute the written word is by doing this. Russell Wattenberg. The name may never grace a cover, but he’s already one of America’s literary greats.