A Riverbend on a street corner

After hearing about Riverbend Books and Tea Shop, I finally got to visit the bookshop this past week. I must say I was not disappointed and that it was every bit as delightful as I had heard. It is a bookshop in the traditional sense of the world. It made me miss the bookshop I managed in the 1990s…books, music and coffee!

The books are not cheap, and that is a real issue in these days of being able to buy discount online, or to download electronically, but Riverbend has found its own niche as a place for the community. They offer classes in social media for the dazed and confused, and also a read and knit book club! I read that they also offer a delivery service in the suburb – by bicycle!

They add more than value to their experience, they do what a good book shop should – help people become the people they want to become, the best version of themselves.

The “teashop” offers breakfast and lunch, and on the Friday that I was there it was a hive of activity. There were a few groups of teachers browsing books on the last term of school,  young mothers meeting with their babies, and more than one person working away at a laptop – perhaps the next J.K. Rowling at work!

Riverbend Books – standing like a lone reed in a time of technological change. The book is alive and well! I just wish it was on my side of town…but then, maybe that is a good thing for my bank balance!

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9 thoughts on “A Riverbend on a street corner

  1. “Politics & Prose” is the name of a bookshop that we like to go to. It has comfy armchairs spread around the shop and I’m sure some people never buy a book but actually just come in and read a few pages each day. They have a cafe section downstairs – with more arm chairs and lounges as well as some tables/chairs. It’s a wonderful place to go.

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    • Borders in the city was treated like a reading library by many city workers. It was often difficult to find a book that didn’t look “read”. In another life I worked for a company that had a number of book shops like the one you visit. Cafe upstairs had a pot bellied stove and in winter was heaven. Downstairs we have books, music and a couch. I could make a deadly hot chocolate in those days!

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  2. We have nothing like this!!!! BUt then again, I live in an intellectual wasteland! Our best is Panera Bread. Its a chain and has NO books.

    I love that places like this do survive…and I sure wish he had one here….but then again, people don’t really read here…..

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    • Most independent book shops in Australia either have a coffee shop or are situated in a food district. When Borders hit Australia everyone felt that it would be the end of independent booksellers, and they did dip for awhile, and many have disappeared – too many people who “love books” open bookshops and forget that it really is a business. However, the quality shops have been very smart in finding ways to draw in customers. Some of them join in buying groups to gain decent discounts that they can pass on to customers, and being out of shopping malls mean much lower rent costs.
      Of course now, Borders has gone in bankruptcy in Australia and all are closing. Their overheads were way too high.
      Sorry, I used to be in the industry and so have a bit of a soap box to stand on!

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    • The big chains tried Australia with bad results. Borders has gone bust and now closed all stores. They made the mistake of going for high rent spaces, and too many overheads. And don’t get me started about staff who didn’t care!

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  3. Ooooh that looks sublime. There is a store here in Denver called ‘The tattered cover’ which has a darker but similar feel. We are going on a road trip to Portland soon which I have been told has the biggest independent book store in America – we’ll certainly have to stop there!!

    PS hardly any Borders left here either.

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    • Our independent booksellers are really into creating atmosphere and a sense of community. The one I managed had a large coffee shop upstairs and we would exhibit various arts and crafts there on a monthly basis. We also hosted many literary events with the likes of Frank McCourt, Wilbur Smith, and Australian authors. It was a nice time…for awhile.

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  4. I think all things come in waves. At some point people probably get tired of our gadget-y world and go back to some of the good old things. So more of these book store might come along again, because I know that I like much more spending time in them then those impersonal chains.

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