|Riverstone Books, Pittsburgh, PA|
When I think about my journey of bookstore visits and reflect back, I almost can't believe it myself. If it were someone else I'd be saying, "good gawd, how did he do that?" Good luck, good fortune, lots of support (thank you Ron Rice!), and probably most of all a flexible schedule. I was hoping that my 400th bookstore visit would be special and memorable and boy, was it ever. When I began this journey 5 1/2 years ago, Riverstone Books was nowhere on the radar. But it's firmly established now and a rising star in the bookstore world. Owner Barbara J. was a co-owner at a bookstore in St. Croix, Virgin Islands so she had the experience to get Riverstone off the ground and running, now for two years. As my 400th visit, this store is representative of everything I've seen in a very positive way. Very fitting for this milestone visit.
Riverstone Books is an absolutely adorable, one-level store in a brand new space. It is located in the McCandless Crossing retail area along with other businesses and restaurants. The store offers all new books in a very neat, and a very creatively designed interior thanks to the talents of Robin C., who is also events coordinator. She's also partly responsible for the outstanding children's section and events, one of the stores' strengths. In addition to the books, Riverstone offers a good variety of quality sidelines, many of which are produced locally. They have a good selection of greeting cards which pairs nicely with the sideline gift items. I especially like their summer reading program for kids. The kids can earn a free book after they read 5 books. Riverstone is an active promoter of children's literacy and this is a perfect example.
The cast of stars I met here are every bit as nice as the ones I've met on my previous 399 visits. Store manager Christopher Z., events coordinator Robin C., and bookseller Natalie S. are the perfect people to be emblematic and representative of ALL the terrific people I've met on this journey.
If you're in the Pittsburgh area and haven't discovered this awesome indie yet, its time you do. You're going to have a great bookstore experience in a beautiful space with friendly and knowledgeable people. Go to an indie and buy a book. Bonsoir.
JUST FINISHED: The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander. A damning review of what is really going on in our nation's criminal justice system and how it exercises racism cloaked under the term "War On Drugs." If you thought this country was making strides in racial equality, think again. This book is meticulously researched and documented. Not always an easy book to read, but necessary for the many uninformed. This is a book I'll come back to again. Highly recommended.
CURRENTLY READING: Following Atticus, Tom Ryan.
RECENTLY PURCHASED: The Wife Between Us, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. The Second-Worst Restaurant In France, Alexander McCall Smith. Not purchased but gifted, a Riverstone Books tote bag. Thanks Riverstone!
|Spacious display window accented by some great landscaping.|
|View looking into the store from the front entrance.|
|A timely front table display commemorating the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. I thought it was truly out of this world (just humor me, people). |
|And they even had a moon above the table display. Nice job, Robin.|
|An active events schedule.|
|Fiction bestsellers, Indie Next list, paperback bestsellers, and new in paperback.|
|Nice display of new releases, just to the right of the front entrance.|
|Just a few of the greeting cards available. This display is in the front of the store.|
|It's always fun to find the staff picks display.|
|If you're a regular customer to Riverstone, living near the store, or an enthusiastic reader, this is a no-brainer.|
|The store has a great summer reading program for kids. Way to go Riverstone.|
|Some nice places to sit near the front of the store and test drive a book.|
|An excellent display of non-fiction.|
|A great section of books of local and regional interest.|
|A few of the high end sidelines available.|
|You'll find some of these clever quotes around the store.|
|This is great! A doll to go with the book.|
|Some books with their matching sidelines.|
|You'll find this nice variety of sidelines on an island near the middle of the store.|
|Lots of locally crafted items. I thought this pottery was very impressive.|
|The furry one on the left is cleverly tucking away the book, Watership|
|A great place to sit with a bookclub and plan your next book or try out an adult coloring book.|
|Partial view of the children's section.|
|Another view of the children's section.|
|Beautiful overview of the store looking from the back toward the front entrance.|
|Looking for a bargain? Find this display.|
|From L-R: Natalie, Chris, and Robin, three of the fine folks you'll meet at Riverstone Books. Thanks for a great visit.|