I find a lion’s share of pleasure in a visit to Riverrun Rare Book Room and Book Shop, located at 12 Washington Avenue, Hastings on Hudson, NY 10706. The store is broken into two parts that sit across the street from each other – the rare book room where the real “big buck” books sit, and the book shop for less rare and used books. There is just some sort of whimsy in scanning through the mountains and shelves of archaic books!
For me, I believe these feelings of pleasure derive from a few factors. First of all, the smell! What avid reader can deny their love for the smell of a well-weathered book? Secondly, the thought of the person who had held that book that now sits in your hands – who they might have been, had they liked the book and why? Had the book had any sense of value, and how did it end up in the store? Next is the look and feel of an old book; whether it be leather bound or a decrepit paperback, I find them all beautiful! A majority of the books have no back jacket, so until you read it or cheat and look it up online, you have no idea what it is about. I simply love surprises! Lastly given no time frame, I could spend hours in the bookshop scanning piles, searching shelves, and thumbing through pages. The bookshop seems to have no order and that is just what makes it more fun for a book lover. It’s almost like a treasure hunt!
The books in the shop are well priced and the trip to Riverrun looking for a good read is simply so much more enjoyable than a trip to a modern bookstore. Riverrun does not only sell books. It may come as a surprise, but owner Christopher P. Stephens, the man behind the madness, has also stocked the stores with a cornucopia of antiques, paintings, and old jewelry.
To me, the old books in Riverrun are much like the veterans of literature. They fought time and it’s effects to remain and be read. They now stand to fight again against a new enemy…a shadow called technology. To me, every trip to Riverrun is like helping the cause!
**Just a note – in addition to selling used and rare books, Riverrun also does appraisals for tax purposes and for estates!
Kali Yodice has spent her life in Westchester NY writing, reading, collecting rare books, and spending time with friends. She compares herself to Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as she often finds herself getting lost in “rabbit holes”, a/k/a her own thoughts and creations