I'm apparently not the world's best multi-tasker, but it seems impossible to get 30 uninterrupted minutes to focus on one thing.  The phone rings, the child interrupts, there is Facebook, and Twitter, and text messages.  Sustained narrative reading is an important function of our brain, and one I fear we are losing.

I read a study that showed that when we surf the web, we use a different part of our brain than we use for reading a long passage of a printed book. I suppose that makes sense, the two functions are very different, and it's not that one is worse than the other. It's just that I fear we will lose our ability to pay attention to one thing for long periods of time.

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A Great Day in Portsmouth

By tom on September 04, 2013 | Add a Comment

These are the kind of days Portsmouth was made for.  Bright, breezy, and beautiful.

The Herald reports this morning that there are enough restaurant seats in Portsmouth for every resident to eat out at the same time.

I'd like to add that there are enough books in RiverRun for every Portsmouth resident to buy one on the same day.

How about today? Today seems good.


See you soon,



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That's right, you don't have to worry about the bridge any more.  RiverRun will have a small store in the Foreside area of Kittery, right across the street from AJ's.  Our neighbors will include a coffee shop and a juice bar!


RiverRun Foreside will carry both new and used books.  It will be like RiverRun Portsmouth, except it will be about the size of your living room.


Why are we doing this?  Because we care about our Maine customers and don't want to lose them.  We loooovvve Portsmouth, but we understand that between bridge repair, parking, and general hubub, it can be hard to shop here sometimes.


As downtown Kittery grows and becomes and exciting place to visit, we are excited to be a part of that.


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New and Selected Poems by Charles Simic

Sometimes I wonder just how many projects we can juggle at once, but when things turn out great, it's a wonderful feeling.  Our events programming is as vibrant as ever.  Sometimes it is disappointing when you go through the work of booking so many events and then people don't show up.  That's just the way it goes.  This spring, however, we've had a string of successes that have us thrilled.  In the past few weeks we've had full houses for events with national celebrities like Gloria Steinem and Augusten Burroughs, and local celebrities like Tony Irons and Kimberly Green.

Coming up we have the release of our Poetry Anthology, Piscataqua Poems, and also the release party for Kiarna Boyd's Blessed and Cursed Alike. On the national front we have a sold out show with Terry Tempest Williams and have just announced an event with Charles Simic.

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Gender Equality

By tom on March 27, 2013 | Add a Comment

Revolution From Within by Gloria Steinem

We are so excited to bring Gloria Steinem to town to speak on April 19th!  Unfortunately, the event is sold out, but there are still a lot of ways to get involved.


The topic of Gender Equality could not be more timely.  It seems crazy to me that we are still struggling with these issues.  Worse, it seems like progress is a series of loops and switchbacks instead of a steady march forward.


We've created a webpage called, and added a forum where you can chime in on these issues.  I hope to hear from you as we attept to cultivate this dialogue on the Seacoast in a meaningful way that will continue long after Ms. Steinem's visit is over.





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About RiverRun

  • We are your friendly neighborhood bookstore, located in downtown Portsmouth, NH.  Small but potent, we offer a fine selection of new books with an emphasis on fiction, history, poetry and mystery.  We also have a great little kids section, and hold over 100 events a year.

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