Home › Tag Archives › Midtown Scholar Bookstore

Dickens Meets Harrisburg

I am not such a literary buff, but Dani really is.  So she was stoked yesterday when Harrisburg marked the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens – probably one of the 19th century’s finest writers of the 19th century and the most famous of English language during that time.  Since Dickens visited our city in 1842 on a trip to America, Harrisburg recognized the man’s life and the huge impact he had on literature.

Although Dickens wasn’t impressed with Harrisburg, attacking its “feeble lights, reflected dismally from the wet ground, did not shine out upon a very cheerful city,” he had a lot of time for the Eagle Hotel proprietor whom he described as the “most obliging, considerate, and gentlemanly person I ever had to deal with.”

So in recognition of Dickens’ time spent in Harrisburg, a party was held at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore that Dani said was really great.  I was happy to just stay home and anyway she went with her work colleagues.  She told me excerpts from “The Pickwick Papers” and “American Notes,” were read by a theater arts professor who was dressed in late Victorian style.

Fun in Midtown Harrisburg

Harrisburg has been enjoying a fun festival in its midst, for all book-lovers and anyone else looking for some entertainment.  Now in its second year, the Harrisburg Book Festival has been attracting many residents from the area to the Midtown Scholar Bookstore.  It will culminate with a launch of the book written by ex-columnist for the Patriot News, Paul Beers, entitled, “City Contented. City Discontented. A History of Modern Harrisburg.”  The book’s publishers are Midtown Scholar Press.

As well, there will be a discussion with Cate Barron (Patriot News Executive Editor); John Baer (Philadelphia Daily News political communist) and Linda Ries (Pennsylvania State Archives project director) to discuss the book.  This is important for Harrisburg as there is a large gap in knowledge on Harrisburg’s culture on this so it is hoped the book will fill this.

This year the festival will be more than just book signings; discussions will be held with readers from Harrisburg and there will also be book readings to school children.  Such festivals are a great opportunity to encourage reading and writing for kids.  But it’s not just for kids; adults were having a great time too, making the most of the Book Festival.

There were also panels; one was entitled, “Path to Publication: Tips for Writers and Readers.”  While we encounter the challenge of the digital world, such a festival like this in Harrisburg is a great way to battle against it, and to encourage people to get back to the world of pen and paper, a.k.a., books.