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Hbg. book store owners launch publishing operation

Three years after opening the Midtown Scholar Bookstore across from Harrisburg’s Broad Street Market, owners Eric Papenfuse and Catherine Lawrence have started a new chapter as publishers.

The newly inaugurated Midtown Scholar Press this week launched its first book, “City Contented, City Discontented: A History of Modern Harrisburg,” which expects to be part of a series on the history and culture of the capital region.

“We thought it was very important at a time when the city is searching for an identity and future that we look to the past,” Papenfuse said about the book, a compilation of observational columns written by Harrisburg journalist Paul Beers.

Beers wrote about a variety of topics that reveal how contemporary Harrisburg came to be. He died earlier this year.

Penn State Harrisburg professor Michael Barton, who transcribed and edited 120 of Beers’ original columns for the book, will deliver a lecture at 7 p.m. on Sunday at the Midtown Scholar. The lecture is part of the 2nd Annual Harrisburg Book Festival, which starts Friday evening.

The book took about a year to design, Papenfuse said. The Midtown Scholar Press hopes to put out a new book every other year between commissioned works and manuscript submissions, he said.

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