Midtown Scholar Bookstore-Cafe
Award-winning Independent Booksellers | Since 2001

+ Hold a Program




Programs & Events

If you are an area resident and would like to propose a literary or community event that is free and open to the public, we are glad to consider it.

Possibilities include musical performances, book clubs, writing groups, family activities, school visits, college seminars, small-group meetings of local nonprofits, and larger community events sponsored by area organizations, depending on space and staffing availablity.

We do not offer bookstore-cafe space for private rentals or commercial use. 

To propose a literary or community program, please create an application account and submit an "Event Planning" request through our Partnership Planning System (CLICK HERE)Requests should be made at least 2-3 weeks in advance of your desired date. 


As part of the Midtown Scholar Bookstore-Cafe's emphasis on community outreach and cultural enrichment, our Friday night coffeehouse-style concerts are free and open to the public. With no cover charge, we cannot offer remuneration to performers, but visiting artists are welcome to request tips and sell merchandise.

We give preference to local singer-songwriters and musicians from the Central Pennsylvania region.

Our venue is unique as it is an operating bookstore-cafe, which means that the house lights will be up during all performances, and customers will be browsing while musicians are playing onstage. The MainStage is outfitted with an excellent soundboard, and a store representative is typically available to help musicians plug in and check the sound. However, we do not have the staffing to provide a dedicated sound person during a performance. We also ask that musicians do not bring amps or full percussion sets, since the acoustics of the space and the layout of the stage cannot accommodate these.

To propose a musical performance, please create an application account and submit an "Event Planning" request through our Partnership Planning System (CLICK HERE)Requests should be made at least 2-3 months in advance of your desired date. 

If you have questions or concerns regarding the musical performance submission and review process, please email events@midtownscholar.com. Thank you for your interest!

Local AUthors

We are redesigning our local-authors consignment program! Later this year, we will reopen to competitive submissions and select the best print books by Central Pennsylvania authors to offer for sale on short-term consignment. If you are a local author interested in holding a book signing or book-release event and wish to submit your book for consideration, please check back here in the fall, when we will post a link to the online submission-forms. 


Book Buyback

We consider books for book-buyback on Thursdays from 2pm-6pm; you do not need an appointment. We might offer cash or store credit. NO DONATIONS ACCEPTED.

While we buy books in a variety of subject areas, we prefer the following: 


  • Scholarly titles and university presses

  • Art Books – the more specific the better

  • History – especially Civil War and Pennsylvania topics

  • Famous authors - books they wrote, criticism, theory

  • Rare or antiquarian books – including ephemera, maps, interesting manuscripts, and prints

  • Uncommon titles in interesting subject areas


  • Fiction – unless it is recent (published in the last three years), in demand and in good condition. Otherwise most fiction titles are published in large quantities and already widely available in the used-book marketplace.

  • Mass market paperbacks – these books are not generally designed to stand the test of time. Condition and appearance are very important.

  • “Old books” - unless they are rare or collectible, being old does not necessarily make a book valuable. It must still be in demand and be of interest to today’s readers.

  • Damaged Books – meaning those that are dirty, very worn, water damaged, or missing parts.

  • College and high school textbooks – unless they are the most recent edition.

  • Magazines, Encyclopedias, or DVDs. 

Please Note...

  • Unless we can sell the book for more than seven dollars, we will likely only pay $1 or less. If we can sell the book for more than $10, we will offer you a reasonable percentage of our perceived retail price. We pay by check or store credit (and will offer even more for the latter).

  • We cannot give you an accurate value of a book over the phone or based on a written or oral description; we have to see a book in person.

  • We only make house calls by appointment and for large and unusual collections. Please inquire by phone at (717) 236-1680 or email to bookbuyer@midtownscholar.com if you have any questions.