Do You Have a Favorite Independent Bookstore?

April 10, 2014

Do You Have a Favorite Independent Bookstore? - Sweet and Savoring

Two posts in one day!

And what a mix of topics and inspiration the A to Z Challenge has instigated! So far this week, we’ve talked about fear surrounding mental illness and motherhood, my inability to speak German, and a marvelous B&B in Harrisburg, PA. To continue with the Harrisburg theme, let’s move further north from City House to Midtown Scholar Bookstore.

Do You Have a Favorite Independent Bookstore? - Sweet and Savoring

The view of Midtown Scholar’s interior from the entrance.

What a view as soon as you walk in! I loved seeing this expansive space, but what I loved even more was what I couldn’t see right away. Reading nooks, a second-level indoor/outdoor balcony, and a lower level that led to a labyrinth of even lower levels all endeared this bookstore to me even more.

Do You Have a Favorite Independent Bookstore? - Sweet and Savoring

Part of the bookstore’s wall decor.

One one of the underground levels, in Robinson’s Rare Books, was a great exhibit on Eastern European bookplates. From Robinson’s Facebook page: “Book plates are graphic productions that go far beyond the bare function of identifying the owner of a book in hand.  These tiny essays of type and ornament have been made by able artists since the mid-15th century, the time of Gutenberg’s first books. Oddly, it took until the late 19th century for these beautiful designs to become objects of collection in their own right.”

Being the huge reading nerd that I am, I had a bunch of bookplates when I was a kid, and was instantly intrigued when I saw the sign for this exhibit. Here is a shot of the Czech bookplates:

Do You Have  Favorite Independent Bookstore? - Sweet and Savoring

I love these designs! Some of them would look fantastic blown up as wall art.

Independent bookstores are perfect for cheap or hard to find books– especially Midtown Scholar. I walked away happy: I bought a great book on travel writing for only $5. Yessssss.

In my hometown of Huntington, the Book Revue has been in business since 1977 and is Long Island’s largest independent bookstore. Shakespeare and Company in Paris is nothing short of magical. NYC’s The Strand is not to be missed if you’re in Manhattan, akin to Powell’s in Portland, OR. I’d love to hear about your favorite bookstore! Maybe I’ll even put it on my spring/summer travel itinerary if it’s in the Northeast 🙂

I wouldn’t have discovered Midtown Scholar if not for our hostess at the B&B– thank you for helping me promote another wonderful Harrisburg business, Eva!



This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, and today is I for Independent. Some topics coming up include journaling, love, Maine, and unforgettable Harrisburg eats.

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  • Michael April 11, 2014 at 1:04 am

    I love indie bookstores as well….used to haunt Recycle Books in San Jose,California. It’s sad to see them slowly fade away….I don’t like e-books and I enjoy hunting for great writers.

    • Christy April 11, 2014 at 8:24 am

      Yes, I feel the same way. I’m grateful whenever I find a great bookshop like this. There’s just nothing like searching the shelves, picking up whatever book strikes your fancy, and being surrounded by other book lovers.

  • Jeanne Melanson April 11, 2014 at 1:37 am

    I absolutely love book stores, especially used book stores. The one you have pictures here looks awesome too, all the different levels and nooks, surprises around every corner, I’m sure. I don’t like e-books either, and I don’t like to read on Kindle. It’s paper for me, all the way. Thanks for sharing this post with us! Cheers!
    Jeanne Melanson recently posted…Did You Hear About the Huge Alligator Snapping Turtle Rescue?My Profile

    • Christy April 11, 2014 at 8:26 am

      Thanks for coming by, Jeanne! It was awesome and now I’m motivated to find more indie bookstores around here in the Hudson Valley.
      My mom is a librarian, so I’m pretty sure I get my loyalty to paper books from her 🙂

  • Eli April 11, 2014 at 2:08 am

    Oh my – what a dream of a book store! Would loose myself in there for hours – for sure.-) Just my cup of tea:-) Visiting you blog through atozchallenge – seems you are doing awesome – and I will definitely come back to see what else you have up your sleeve for the rest of April:-)

    • Christy April 11, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      Oh yes, I’m sure I would have spent hours in there as well if I wasn’t busy catching up with my friend. Thanks so much for visiting, Eli! This challenge has been fantastic for making new connections!

  • Kelly April 11, 2014 at 6:44 am

    My favorite are the Toadstool Bookshops in NH. But the Bookmill in Montague, MA is also fabulous! Grateful to have them. They’re great places for exploring…and the used book section is like a treasure hunt…and you rarely come up empty. Great post!

    • Christy April 11, 2014 at 12:06 pm

      I love that you’re giving me recommendations that are within a day’s drive! That’s exactly how I feel about used books & treasure hunts 🙂 Adding your favorites to my tentative itinerary….

  • Sophie Bowns April 11, 2014 at 8:19 am

    I need to read more, I have to say that I don’t really enjoy it!

    • Christy April 11, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      Oh Sophie, I highly recommend wandering through a bookstore near you. You never know what might catch your interest. There are books out there for every topic you could possibly think of!

  • Shawn April 11, 2014 at 11:34 am

    I live about 2.5 blocks from the Midtown Scholar. The coffee’s fantastic, the staff is friendly and helpful, and you can spend hours just browsing and discovering. It is indeed the bee’s knees!

    • Christy April 11, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      Hey Shawn, I appreciate you coming by! So nice to hear from a Harrisburg local 🙂 You’re so lucky to live close to such a great space!

      • Shawn April 11, 2014 at 3:49 pm

        I was pleasantly surprised by its existence when I moved here to Harrisburg. It is indeed a hidden gem. Thanks for getting the word out about it! 🙂

  • Melissa April 12, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Yay for special bookstores! So many great memories are held within those walls! Thanks for sharing this piece of your town!

    • Christy April 21, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      You’re right, I can only imagine all the memories, especially from when it was a theater!

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