Big, Difficult Changes at RiverRun Bookstore
What's Happening

After a lot of hard thinking, I've decided not to renew the lease at 20 Congress St., which ends on December 31st.  When we moved into this space five years ago business was booming, the economy was good, and the Kindle didn't exist yet.

Fast forward to 2011 and we simply cannot afford the most expensive real estate in the most expensive city in New Hampshire.  The world of books is a beautiful one, but a shrinking one.  We just can't stay here.

The rise of digital books, the poor economy, and some very large debts have left the store in a terrible position.  We've hung on by our fingernails for the last two years hoping things would improve, but they haven't.

For that reason, for RiverRun to survive we must not only find a new location, but we also need to re-capitalize the store.  Much of our trouble started in 2007 when I took a large loan to buy out my business partners, so I am now more than willing to take on new partners, if there is anyone out there foolish enough to be interested.

So I am looking for new space and for new investors.  Without those two things, it is very possible that RiverRun will close at the end of December.  Inquiries and ideas can be emailed to me in confidence at

In the meantime, we're making some changes that will be unpopular, but will hopefully help us to hang on a bit longer.  They are listed below.

Thanks for all you have done over the past decade to support this store.


Tom Holbrook
RiverRun Bookstore

Shorter Hours
Starting immediately, our hours for November and December will be 10am to 7pm, seven days a week.

Pre-payment of Special Orders
We are still more than happy to order anything for you, but starting tomorrow we will be asking for prepayment on special orders.  They will take approximately three to four business days to arrive, which is a bit slower than it used to be.  Of course, we will still accept full returns if the book turns out to be different than what you wanted or expected.

Book Credit
 We still want your used books--now more than ever-- and we will still give you two dollars credit per book.  The change is that book credit is now only good on in-store merchandise.  We can no longer accept book credit as payment for special orders.
This is a going-forward change and does not apply to credit already accrued.
PS: If you still have a Golden Ticket, we would advise you to use it up.
I wish we had done things differently, and been better prepared for hard times.  Portsmouth deserves a first rate bookstore, and RiverRun hasn't been that for a couple years.

It's time for us to fix the problems and launch into a brave new world of bookselling, or it's time for us to get out of the way and let somebody else take a shot at it.

I'll keep you updated.