April 05, 2021

Recently there was a contentious Council vote on Amherstburg hosting “Open Air Weekends” again this summer, that’s where the town closes streets for cars and opens streets for people. The River Bookshop spoke out enthusiastically for open streets because outside activities are much safer and healthier during Covid and will continue to be post Covid. 

Now, a number of local businesses opposed the move, preferring the status quo. This was not surprising because studies have shown that as humans we actually have a bias for the status quo. We tend to fear loss much more than we value gain. At River Book shop, while we very much respect history, we know that to succeed we have to continuously learn, create new ideas, adapt, and invest to have healthy businesses. 


    “It’s not about standing still and being safe. If anyone wants to keep creating they have to be about change”

                                                     ~Miles Davis

So recently the Bookshop team met to brainstorm what we will do when we move into Orange, but also how do we create and adapt even if we stay in Red.  Unfortunately, since that day, Covid cases have spiked again, and the government declared a shutdown. So I fear we are not looking at an Orange rating for a while. The four councillors who voted for Open Air are looking smarter every day. 

When we do get back to Covid Orange the game plan is easy for us to do as we were doing that successfully before we had to shut down events in December. Right now we have presentations ready to go on Town History, Nature, Climate Change, Racial Justice, and others.  Stay tuned via this newsletter so you don’t miss those events.  If you are still hesitant to attend live events we have invested in a new camera system which allows us to Zoom out the live presentations to you in the safety of your own home. When we go Orange we will also be quickly starting Saturday morning story telling for children. Email us to get on our special list for these talks. And Lori is also taking names from readers who want to participate in our Book Clubs - we will start our book clubs virtually if we have to. 

We had planned to hold a “Jane’s Walk” on May 8 hosted by the Marsh Collection’s Meg Reiner.  But the new Covid rules have stopped that. Meg was going to tour small groups through Amherstburg’s beautiful downtown walkable streets. We may still consider hosting the walk later this year as it could be a great annual event in the town.            

Plans are underway for a September weekend event that celebrates literacy and Canadian writing. Stay tuned.  We hope it becomes an annual tradition during Open Air.

And finally the Peddie’s are continuing to invest in the economic, social and cultural health of the community.  Soon you will hear about the new bakery, The Panetteria, (check out their Facebook page here) opening at 248 Ramsay and later about our development plans for 63 Richmond.  All designed to make Amherstburg thrive ! 


Community Builder

April is really that month to refresh, renew - the time to try new things, to spread your wings. And what easier, more delightful way to branch out than to try something new with your reading tastes. Poetry fits that bill - more so than fictionalized stories, poetry can evoke strong emotion and lay bare your soul. The fact that poets can do so with such an economy of words is nothing short of amazing.

River Bookshop is celebrating Poetry Month by filling our window with some great reads from Shakespeare to Seuss and everyone in between. We're highlighting some of our local authors like Jacqueline Denis, D.A. Lockhart and Ellie Csepregi as well as standards like Margaret Atwood and Rainer Maria Rilke. Step outside your reading comfort zone and try some.

My personal favourite? Please Stop Touching Me and Other Haikus by Cats or What I Lick Before Your Face and Other Haikus by Dogs. Both such moving selections - just kidding, they are hysterically funny little books that will surely lighten up any rainy, spring day!

Our other window is full of books to help celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd. We have something for all ages including some books sure to get kids out into nature. With this pandemic hanging around we will definitely need some outdoor activities to keep us healthy - mind, body and soul.

A Child's Introduction to the Environment, Wild and Free Nature and 101 Things for Kids to Do Outside are all excellent choices for getting outside and learning and having fun too.

We also have some absolutely breathtaking photography coffee table books that show you the amazing beauty of the nature around us.

Trees, Silent Kingdom and Wild Elephants are shown here.

We are sure to have something to interest everyone in the family so be sure to stop by - we are open Monday through Friday from 10-6 and from 11-5 on Saturday and Sunday. Our covid precautions are all in place and we set our occupancy at 8 readers in store at a time. If need be you can visit our website to order online and take advantage of our curbside pick up.

And don't forget our virtual events in partnership with Penguin Random House - always educational, entertaining and enlightening - Alexandra Morton, author of Not on My Watch and Naomi Klein, author of How to Change Everything.

The purchase of either book gives you the added value of access to the national, virtual event. Both books are signed by the authors, as well.

We hope to see you soon!

Keep reading,

Lori and the River Bookshop Team