Tucked away on a quiet side street in Greensboro, Pennsylvania, is Riverrun Books, a gem of a used bookshop that has served its community for decades.
I happened to be coming to the shop from a direction that led me, at times, along rather winding, narrow stretches of two-lane, small-town highway. “There’s a bookstore along this road?” my traveling companion asked aloud more than once.
Yes, there is, and it’s fantastic.
I’ve noted several times throughout the blog that my favorite type of bookshop is one that is brimming with a carefully curated – and artfully shelved – inventory of used books. That is indeed what visitors to Riverrun will find.
The shop has served Greene County for more than three decades. The passion of owner Robert Richards is evident throughout the shop. The tall shelves are neatly labeled with all the usual genres like fiction, poetry, regional works, and children’s books well represented, and a variety of others – from alcohol to weather – peppered throughout the cozy yet sizable shop. There isn’t a wasted bit of shelf space.
“These were handpicked books,” Richards told the Greene County Messenger in 2019. “I can walk into a room with 5,000 books and only come out of it with 50, because there’s a lot of junk out there. We’re not wasting anyone’s time when they come in here. They’re going to find good stuff.”
In addition to thousands of beautiful, high-quality used books, the shop also offers a selection of vinyl albums and art prints. The upper floor of the building, in fact, has been used as a printing space. Beyond the items for sale, there is artwork, sculptures, and memorabilia decorating the space. Perhaps most impressive is a sizable collection of framed author photographs covering the length of an upper section of wall (and then some).
With more than 30 years of book collecting, Richards has amassed a treasure trove of a library. His bookselling career began in Chicago in the early 1980s, and he and his family eventually moved to Pittsburgh, launching Riverrun in the South Oakland neighborhood of the city in 1984. A move to Morgantown, West Virginia, followed, before the family reached their final destination of Greensboro. The shop opened in its current location in 1990 and has been the business’s primary location since 1995.
Specializing in fine used, out-of-print, and rare books, vintage prints, and vinyl, Riverrun Books is a bookstore destination worth seeking out. The shop is beautifully laid out, the impressive inventory hand-picked and in great condition, and Robert and his family are welcoming, friendly, and knowledgeable. My only regret was being delayed by a flat tire and arriving toward the end of the business day. I could’ve browsed for hours.
Riverrun Books is located at 106 County Street in Greensboro, Pennsylvania. While the shop is open most days, it’s best to visit their Facebook page or call (724) 943-4406 for current hours.