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Discover Central Pennsylvania's Literary Treasures: Must Visit Family-Owned Bookstores

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

In a world dominated by digital content, there's something undeniably magical about stepping into a cozy, family-owned bookstore. Central Pennsylvania is home to a hidden gem of literary wonders, where bookworms and literature enthusiasts can find solace among shelves stacked with stories waiting to be discovered. Join us on an enchanting journey as we explore the literary landscape of Central PA and uncover the must-visit family-owned bookstores that will ignite your imagination.


Family-Owned Bookstores


Address: 157 N Enola Rd, Enola, PA 17025

Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10am-6pm, Sunday: 12pm-5pm

Nestled in the heart of Enola, PA, Cupboard Maker Books stands as a literary oasis. This beloved family-owned bookstore has been captivating readers since 1994. With its charming atmosphere and extensive collection, it's a treasure trove waiting to be explored. Step inside, and you'll be greeted by the comforting scent of books and the friendly smiles of knowledgeable staff who are eager to assist you in your literary quest.


Julie Zantopoulos, bookstore interior, author signing, Central Pennsylvania, Literary Treasures: Family-Owned Bookstores

Address: 107 W 4th St, Williamsport, PA 17701

Hours: Mon-Sat: 10am-5:30pm

Nestled in the historic downtown of Williamsport, Otto's Bookstore has been a beloved fixture since 1841. This family-owned bookstore offers an eclectic selection of fiction, non-fiction, and children's books, showcasing the region's rich literary heritage. Take a leisurely stroll through the charming aisles and allow their knowledgeable staff to guide you to your next literary adventure.


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Address: 110 S Fraser St, State College, PA 16801

Hours: Mon-Sat: 11am-7pm; Sun: 12pm-5pm

Calling all comic book enthusiasts! The Comic Swap in State College is a paradise for fans of graphic novels, manga, and collectibles. Dive into the colorful world of superheroes, discover rare issues, and explore a range of genres that will captivate readers of all ages. With its welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff, The Comic Swap is a must-visit for comic book lovers.


Address: 133 E Beaver Ave, State College, PA 16801

Hours: Mon-Thu: 7am-10pm; Fri: 7am-12am; Sat: 8am-12am; Sun: 9am-10pm

Combine your love for books and coffee at Webster's Bookstore Café, nestled in the heart of State College. This cozy establishment offers a unique blend of literature and café culture. Browse their extensive collection of used books while sipping on a handcrafted beverage and indulge in delectable treats from their in-house bakery.


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Address: 125 Broadway Drive, Hanover, PA 17331

Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 9am - 3pm Sunday- Monday CLOSED

The Reader's Cafe is a beloved independent bookstore and coffee shop located in Hanover, PA. Derf and MaryAnn, the owners, opened the establishment almost 25 years ago with the vision of providing a cozy space where people could sit down, read a book, and enjoy a good cup of coffee. Housed in a renovated church building, The Reader's Cafe has become a community hub, offering book clubs, poetry contests, live music, and even Harry Potter Parties. Despite facing challenges such as the rise of digital reading and the impact of the novel coronavirus, Derf and MaryAnn continue to pursue their dreams and provide a welcoming space for book lovers. Visit The Reader's Cafe to experience their warm hospitality and support this cherished local bookstore.


Address: 19 E 4th St, Williamsport, PA 17701

Hours: Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat: 10am-6pm; Thu: 10am-8pm

Located within the James V. Brown Library, the bookstore is a hidden gem in Williamsport. Explore their collection of used books, including fiction, non-fiction, and children's literature. The proceeds from book sales support library programs, making it a fantastic way to contribute to the community while expanding your personal library.


Central Pennsylvania, Literary Treasure, Family-Owned Bookstores, bookshelf, bookstore, books

Address: 35 E Main St, Lititz, PA 17543

Hours: Mon-Sat: 10am-7pm; Sun: 12pm-5pm

Discover a literary oasis in Lititz at Aaron's Books. This independent bookstore is renowned for its warm and welcoming atmosphere, personalized recommendations, and a curated selection of books for all ages. Explore their book clubs and author events, providing opportunities for engaging discussions and interactions with fellow book lovers.


DogStar Books

Address: 401 W Lemon St, Lancaster, PA 17603

Hours: Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10-5:00 • Sundays and Mondays 11-3

DogStar Books is a unique and revitalizing bookstore located in Lancaster, PA. Founded by Brian Frailey, the store transitioned from an internet-only enterprise to a physical open bookshop in 2006. Brian's passion for bookselling dates back over 20 years, and his return from teaching English overseas inspired him to create a reliable and honest bookstore in an era of declining quality online booksellers. With the growing appeal of urban and semi-urban living, DogStar Books aims to be a gathering place for the neighborhood, offering a wide selection of excellent books and contributing to the vibrant community by promoting local businesses and fostering a love for reading.


Address: 6 Clouser Road, Mechanicsburg PA 17055

Hours: Wed. & Thurs. 12:30 pm - 6:00 pm Fri. 12:30 pm - 5:30 pm Sat. 12:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday

Specializing in mystery, spy, thriller, suspense, horror, and a touch of sci-fi, this bookstore is a spooky reader's dream. For over 32 years, this bookshop has helped their community continue to pursue a love of reading. From an early age, Debbie Beamer was a fan of mysteries ever since she read her first Nancy Drew book. It was her passion for literature that led her to open this store in 1990, with a goal to "provide customers with exemplary customer service." They take pride in introducing customers to new and exciting authors every day, creating a haven for literary exploration and fostering a sense of community.


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Address: 7 E Avenue, Wellsboro, PA 16901

Hours: Monday-Friday: 10am-6pm, Saturday: 10am-4pm, Sunday: Closed

Tucked away in Wellsboro, PA, From My Shelf Books & Gifts is a hidden gem that offers a quaint literary escape. Step through its doors and enter a world of literary wonders, where shelves are filled with carefully curated selections of books and charming literary-themed gifts. Lose track of time as you peruse the shelves, and don't forget to strike up a conversation with the friendly and passionate staff, who are always ready to recommend their favorite reads.


Address: 343 W Market St, York, PA 17401

Hours: Wednesday-Saturday: 11am-6pm, Sunday: 12pm-5pm, Monday-Tuesday: Closed

Prepare to be transported to a realm where books and curiosities intertwine at The York Emporium in York, PA. This family-owned bookstore offers a one-of-a-kind experience, with its vast collection of books spanning all genres and its intriguing assortment of vintage items and antiques. As you wander through the labyrinthine aisles, you'll discover hidden treasures at every turn, making each visit a thrilling adventure.


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Central Pennsylvania's family-owned bookstores are more than just shops; they are gateways to enchantment, knowledge, and literary exploration. From Cupboard Maker Books in Enola to The York Emporium in York, these literary havens hold the power to captivate readers of all ages. So, take a break from the digital world, embark on a literary adventure, and let these family-owned bookstores in Central PA ignite your imagination and deepen your love for the written word.


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