There has always been something wonderfully overwhelming that happens to me every time I walk into a bookstore. All of the stories, the covers, the possibilities, jump out at me all at once and scream “Pick me! Ooooh pick me!” And I have always had to resist the urge to pick them all, to bring them home and stack them on my nightstand, to read them all one by one.
In 1998, long before I had ever stepped a foot into a Barnes & Noble or other book selling chain, The River’s End Bookstore opened in my hometown of Oswego, NY. The then 11 year old me was thrilled! I had already read nearly everything in the school library at least once by that time and to have a store that sold only books was exhilarating. My favorite independent bookstore is still in business today. In fact they recently celebrated their 15-year anniversary (Congrats Bill and Mindy) and I couldn’t be happier for them.
In an age where big businesses are knocking so many locally owned, small businesses out of their way, The River’s End Bookstore is thriving. Where so many people (including myself) are using e-readers and tablets to read- this independent bookstore has kept up with the times by having e-books and e-readers available as an option.
But sometimes you want to pick up a book. You want to hold it in your hands and flip through the pages. You want to smell the paper and the ink. And that my friends is one of the many reasons why I am glad that The River’s End Bookstore is still around. I may have my electronic library, but I need to have my library of actual books as well. If it weren’t for them, the little city I call home would have “slim pickings” to choose from book-wise. When I want a paper copy of a new book, The River’s End Bookstore is there with more books than I could ever dream of reading.
Last summer, The River’s End Bookstore had an event where I got to meet two of my favorite Young Adult authors, Laurie Halse Anderson and Barry Lyga. They were both in the same room. At the same time! (I don’t know how typical this is, but for me it was a huge deal. I may or may not have had a fangirl-esqe moment in my head.) Not to mention, at the same event I was introduced to two other great YA authors, Melissa Walker and Terry Trueman. The River’s End Bookstore genuinely tries to connect readers with the writers they love. They support local authors (like Laurie) and have events where readers can discover and interact with them quite often.
The River’s End Bookstore has something for everyone, young and old , male and female. The employees and owners are all wonderful people, willing to make recommendations, order something if it’s not in stock, or just chat. They have a special storytelling time just for little ones and writing groups where writers of all ages are welcome to attend. They are truly a great asset to the community.
So if for any reason you find yourself in or around Oswego, NY, stop by The River’s End Bookstore. You will experience the care and hospitality that only a hometown small business can offer and you won’t be disappointed.