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Author: BookstoreExplore

The Bookworm – Lemoyne, Pennsylvania

The Bookworm – Lemoyne, Pennsylvania

Sam Marcus, proprietor and “book guru” of Lemoyne, Pennsylvania’s The Bookworm Bookstore, has been selling books for decades. Having served the Harrisburg area for more than 40 years, the shop prides itself on being “your personal bookstore.”  If my encounter with the friendly staff at this neighborhood shop is any indication, it’s a title they’re living up to. Truly a family business, Sam, his wife, son, and daughter are all apparently regulars behind the counter at The Bookworm.  Don’t let the…

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Webster’s Bookstore Café – State College, Pennsylvania

Webster’s Bookstore Café – State College, Pennsylvania

Webster’s Bookstore Café in State College, Pennsylvania, is technically multiple businesses in one. In addition to its large inventory of mostly used books (with select new and local titles) and the café’s food and beverage menu, the large space is also home to Stax of Trax records and Tiger’s Eye Vintage. That means shoppers can grab a book, a coffee, some classic vinyl, and a vintage outfit all in one place. Although there are ramped and street-level entrances nearby, I entered…

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Midtown Scholar Bookstore – Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Midtown Scholar Bookstore – Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

If you’ve ever uttered the sentence, “I could spend hours in a bookstore,” then get yourself to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s Midtown Scholar posthaste. The massive, multilevel bookshop and café is perfect for whiling away hours browsing spines. The main level of the shop features the coffee bar and a series of shelves categorized by popular authors, with an offshoot room full of children’s books and a cake and pie café. From there, shoppers can go up or down to explore room after room…

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Classic Elements – Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Classic Elements – Johnstown, Pennsylvania

When longtime friends and co-owners Jen Gailote and Michele Kupchella Adams opened Classic Elements in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, they wanted to bring the town an experience that feels like family – a comfortable space with good coffee, unique gifts, carefully curated books, and friendly service. When I stopped into the hybrid bookstore, café, and gift shop on my Pennsylvania bookstore crawl, that’s exactly what I found. The idea for the shop came about in 2018 after Jen and Michele began noticing…

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Mechanicsburg Mystery Book Shop – Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Mechanicsburg Mystery Book Shop – Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Debbie Beamer, owner of Mechanicsburg Mystery Bookshop in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, turned a lifetime love of mystery novels into a successful business that has kept readers flipping pages for decades. Since 1990, her mystery-themed bookshop has been providing customers with the best whodunits you can find on a shelf.  I’m a sucker for a good mystery, and oftentimes the cozier the better. From the classics like Sherlock Holmes to more modern series like Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache novels – and even the books…

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Main Street Books – Frostburg, Maryland

Main Street Books – Frostburg, Maryland

Fred Powell has owned and operated Main Street Books in Frostburg, Maryland, for more than 30 years. So what keeps him going after so long? “I can’t find anybody else to take it over,” he says with a laugh. But he’s only kidding. It’s a passion for books that has kept Main Street Books a thriving part of Frostburg’s downtown district since 1989.  That’s not to mention a consistent willingness to grow the business and enduring community support. “It sounds overused, but…

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Otto Bookstore – Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Otto Bookstore – Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Little did I know when I stepped into Otto Bookstore in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, that I was stepping into a landmark. Dating back to 1841, the Otto Bookstore is America’s oldest independently owned bookstore and has served its community for generations.  The shop’s website details its rich history and the multiple locations at which it has stood over the years – an interesting read that dated the shop’s origins even further back than present owner Betsy Rider originally thought.  The impressive origins were…

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Cupboard Maker Books – Enola, Pennsylvania

Cupboard Maker Books – Enola, Pennsylvania

Cupboard Maker Books in Enola, Pennsylvania, is a work of art – literally. The exterior of the massive shop is adorned with a colorful bookshelf mural, depicting the spines of many a classic. And the artistry doesn’t stop once you step inside. Handwritten customer messages adorn the shelves (“You guys have opened so many doors for me and I love it,” read one) and a Yellow Brick Road painted on the floor winds its way to a large Emerald City mural….

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Liberty Book Shop – Avis, Pennsylvania

Liberty Book Shop – Avis, Pennsylvania

Have you ever wanted to spend the night in a bookstore? If so, make you way to Liberty Book Shop in Avis, Pennsylvania, for an Airbnb stay like no other. The shop is located in a former church, and owner Linda Roller, who lives in the attached parsonage, rents out her spare room, providing guests 24-hour access to roam the store and explore the vast inventory of used and rare books. I recently spent a couple nights enjoying Linda’s hospitality…

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Books ‘N Friends – Sparta, North Carolina

Books ‘N Friends – Sparta, North Carolina

Sometimes it’s the shops you find by accident that are the most memorable. My gas tank was nearing empty when, after miles of two-lane country road, I reached the small town of Sparta, North Carolina, and saw an Exxon sign out of the corner of my eye. Little did I know, an even more exciting sign beckoned at a shop down the block. That’s how I discovered Books ‘N Friends Used Book Store. Narrow storefronts can be deceiving. I stepped…

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