Archive for December, 2020

December 21, 2020

Click and collect/pre-order collection

by Team Riverside

We will be open for call/email and collect Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 December between 11am and 3pm.

If you have already ordered and paid for your items, you can turn up and collect at the door during these times.

If you want to buy items in stock in the shop you will need to call or email to check availability, then pay for them over the phone. You will then be able to collect them at the door during the times listed above. Please be patient if you have to wait at the door – we will get to you but you may have to wait while we finish dealing with another customer on the phone.

Thanks to everyone for your patience and kindness during this time. We have been so grateful for the good wishes and thoughts of our customers throughout this most difficult year. It’s helped us more than we can say.

Team Riverside

December 20, 2020

Closed for today, Sunday 20 December

by Team Riverside

Dear friends


thank you for your patience while we are closed today.  The announcement of new restrictions in London means that we are not allowed to open to the public.  We hope to provide an opportunity at least for customers to pick up orders during this week, and will post details here and on Instagram later, so please check back.


In the meantime, if you would like to check in about the status of an order you have made with us, or have any other queries, please do contact us on info@riversidebookshop.co.uk.


We wish every one of you all the best, and hope you stay as safe as you can. 

Team Riverside

December 15, 2020

Open through till Christmas eve

by Team Riverside

We will be open through till Christmas eve for all your gifty needs!

Opening times:

Wednesday 16 December – 10am to 5pm

Thursday 17 December – 10am to 5pm

Friday 18 December – 10am to 5pm

Saturday 19 December – 10am to 6pm

Sunday 20 December – 11am to 5pm

Monday 21 December – 10am to 5pm

Tuesday 22 December – 10am to 5pm

Wednesday 23 December – 10am to 5pm

Thursday 24 December – 10am to 3pm (closing time to be confirmed)

Friday 25 December to Monday 28 December – CLOSED

Happy Christmas to all our customers.

December 7, 2020

The Stubborn Light of Things: a Nature Diary by Melissa Harrison

by Team Riverside

Hardback, Faber and Faber, £14.99, out now

cover of The Stubborn Light of Things

A kingfisher sat on a riverside branch, so close that I could see blackblue feathers in the early morning light.  I was in a London park, near where I live, last weekend.  I was alone, with no special equipment or expertise, but I was paying attention to the river.  The kingfisher hunched, and tidied itself up, and after a few minutes flew off when a runner came along.

If you have found yourself noticing nature more during this year, this book of essays by Melissa Harrison is for you.  Compiled from her columns in the Times, in the early pieces Harrison is living in South London and gives great descriptions of the nature and wildlife of Tooting Bec Common.  Who knew you could see a hobby flying over Lambeth?  “There are pockets of South London that seem utterly rural: paths edged with cow parsley and dog roses and overhung by oaks through which the sunlight filters down, green-dappled and shifting” (p. 44).

Half way through the book, Harrison relocates to rural Suffolk, and a different kind of natural life.  “There are baby rabbits everywhere right now, and sitting in my oak I watched an alert doe shepherd four kits out from the warren by the path to feed…  The evening sun picks them out as they play, gold-edged and painterly: humble but quite lovely in the low, warm light” (p. 174).  One of the things I love about The Stubborn Light of Things is that Harrison doesn’t say that it is easier or better to be a nature watcher in one place or the other.  Her curious gaze finds things to wonder at in both places, a reminder that we only ever need to start where we are.

As readers of her gripping novels At Hawthorn Time and All Among the Barley will know, she is not afraid of addressing difficult things, and here she references the climate emergency and local campaigns to protect wildlife (for a review of one of her novels, see https://riversidebookshop.co.uk/2015/05/24/at-hawthorn-time-melissa-harrison/).

After reading this, I found similar ideas in On Looking by Alexandra Horowitz (which I am half way through).  Horowitz walks round her Manhattan city block with several different people who are expert at different things, and finds out how little we notice in the normal run of things (one of the people is expert at being a toddler and another is expert at being a dog – see https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/08/12/on-looking-eleven-walks-with-expert-eyes/). 

Harrison’s popular lockdown podcast encouraged us to pay attention, and this book helps us do just that.  Joanna Lisowiec’s exquisite illustrations and gorgeous cover art elevate a good read into a beautiful item.

Review by Bethan

December 2, 2020

We are open!

by Team Riverside
shop window with decorations

We are so pleased to be open again!

Weekdays – 10am to 5pm

Saturday 10am to 6pm

Sunday 11am to 5pm