Author Readings, Zine Fests Coming to Riverby Books

Bookstore owner Paul Cymrot is building a community space for Capitol Hill

Riverby Books on the 400 block of East Capitol Street SE. 

Update on Nov. 22: The zine fest will include DC illustrator Elizabeth Graeber on Dec. 9 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Also, the visit with author Stephen Grant is now set for Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. in Riverby.

Riverby Books has reopened with a new look. While explorers can still hunt through rows of books in the search of literary treasures, the redesigned space at 417 East Capitol St. SE will also allow the shop to host local authors and artists starting in December, according to Riverby owner Paul Cymrot.

Store manager Lori Grisham said local zines — small circulation, self-published magazines — including The Runcible Spoon will attend a zine fest at Riverby on Dec. 9 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. DC illustrator Elizabeth Graeber will appear at the zine fest, too. Also on the events list is Stephen Grant, author of the book “Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger.” He will visit on Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.

Grisham said she hopes to host game nights, book clubs and poetry readings in the future. As Riverby transforms into a community space, it continues to welcome a flow of returning and new customers, said Cymrot.

He plans to add more cushy chairs in the basement children’s section and limit the number of books they display on the shelves.

“Realizing that it was a small space, we’re not going to be able to have every book because we want to make sure what we put out is worth reading," said Cymrot.

Neighbors stop by regularly to sell boxes of used books, pick out old treasures and enjoy a quiet space to read. They can also buy games, old postcards, maps, and prints.

“The items we sell are often things that we’ve bought from a neighbor who is done with them,” Cymrot said. “It’s the ebb and flow of one person buying and enjoying what another person dropped off.”

On the days Riverby is open — Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. — shop manager Lori Grisham puts on a pot of tea at 4:30 p.m. for any visitors.

Follow Riverby on Twitter @riverbydc and on Instagram riverbydc. 

Lori Grisham, store manager at Riverby Books.

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