Independent Bookstores Matter.

Independent Bookstores Matter.

March 01, 2021


The River Bookshop’s values are to educate, inspire, engage and entertain the residents of our community. We believe that the same can be said about most independent bookstores. Now much has been written about the importance of independents. Here are just a few of the compelling reasons why they matter so much to our communities and deserve your active support. 


     ~ in our January 25th Newsletter we wrote about the importance of shopping local. Book shops create local jobs, are good for the environment: and out of every $100 spent over 60% stays in the community versus a much lower amount for chains. 

     ~ their staff are bibliophiles who take joy in matching a reader to a writer. Their staff are engaged with the shop’s inventories to a much greater degree, and have a depth of experience that you can’t get from big chains or on line.  

     ~ local supports local!  Independents support local authors and have knowledge about books from the area to a much greater degree than any chain or online seller. 

    ~ they are a true “Third Place”. After home and work they offer a welcoming comfortable place to come together, where readers of all ages can gather, engage with other readers and create quality connections.  

   ~ they foster creativity with their book clubs, author events, lectures and other events. They help improve literacy. As Dr Seuss says: “The more that you read, the more things that you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!” 

   ~ local independent bookshops are invaluable to the community. Books are magic and frankly independents do them much better.

At River Bookshop we don’t look at other independents as competitors. Instead we believe that we are in solidarity with them so we would like to give a shoutout to a few local book stores.

Today many independent bookstores are closing or are facing an uncertain financial future. Recently all shops were closed for in store shopping for two months while large box stores like Walmart and digital giant Amazon continued business unobstructed. Many  bookshops aggressively pushed online sales and curb side pickup; but still their sales plummeted, often making a thin financial situation even more precarious. So if you would like to see these vital neighbourhood shops continue in business please support them today. 

Now a short word about our events. At the River Bookshop we are able to host a broad range of events because of our second floor event space called the “Hole in the Wall”. Unfortunately Covid restrictions has stopped us from hosting live events since the first of December. However, it did not stop us from celebrating Black History Month along with our special partner the Amherstburg Freedom Museum. Black History Month was not only a month of looking backward, but importantly also a month of looking forward. We believe that by creating awareness, educating, encouraging discussion, and hosting events we will help address racial injustice in our community. Operating safely prevented us from doing three live Black History Month events, but we hope we can reschedule them around Emancipation Day August 1st. Thank you to all that supported our Black History Month event by purchasing related titles.  The winners of the creative Freedom Museum T-shirts are:  Lori M. Frank D. and Sonya E. Lori will be contacting you to arrange pick up of your prize.

On another note look for more developments on the corner of Richmond and Ramsay. Colleen and I are committed to investments that will increase not only the social and cultural health of our community but the economic health as well. Stay tuned. 


Richard and Colleen

More than booksellers - community builders 



Did you all enjoy this past weekend with it's higher than normal temps and that sunshine that peaked through the clouds periodically? It got us to thinking about gardening and planting and planning. We have new gardening books on order and arriving every week - here are just a few to get the ideas and plans flowing.

Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew, The Cannabis Gardener by Penny Barthel and Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

In addition to the promise of spring, March brings us Women's History Month - a time to celebrate the achievements of girls and women throughout history. We will be highlighting some great books by and about notable women, in our windows and on our social media, throughout the month. We will include books like those chosen here - for all ages and interests. Be sure to visit us to see for yourself!

For the grown ups - Visionary Women by Andrea Barnet, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, She Speaks by Yvette Cooper, Cicely Tyson's Just As I Am, Fighting for Space by Amy Shira Teitel and Can You Hear Me Now? by Celina Caesar Chavannes.

And for the young ones...we have a wide selection of books shining a light on girls and women worldwide. Girls Can! by Marissa Sebastian, Breaking the Ice by Angie Bullaro, The Who Was/Is series and She Persisted Around the World by Chelsea Clinton.

And as always we offer upcoming virtual events in partnership with Penguin Random House until we can welcome you back for our live presentations. These In Conversation events offer a chance to be in on the discussion between some of today's hottest authors. Watch for these and upcoming events - you might see your favourite writer!

We hope to see you soon!

Keep reading,

Lori and the River Bookshop Team