Hamilton Haunts: The River Trading Company

Saturday 26 September 2015

Each used bookstore has a unique personality. The River Trading Company, a recent transplant from Toronto, is no exception. Its unique collection includes vintage science fiction and fantasy, literary journals, and, currently, "Cold War Reminders," a specialty section you're not going to find in any other bookstore.

The carefully curated collection that makes up the River Trading Company (at 559 Barton Street East) is the pride of siblings Mary and David McGowan. It's also watched over by two cats, Walter (who Mary says chose bookstore living when he wandered into the Toronto store) and Nickel, and a dog, Thor, who greets book browsers at the door.

The River Trading Company opened its doors in Hamilton in June, after four years in Toronto. It's a welcomed addition to Barton Street, surely one of the reasons CBC Hamilton recently asked "Can Barton Street become the next hip area of Hamilton?" When giving me a tour of her large shop, Mary said they're been delighted with both opening shop and moving to Hamilton. We're lucky to have them.

Give yourself a lot of browsing time when visiting The River Trading Company. Its collection isn't massive, but it's also filled with collectables, rarities, and gems that are an important part of the book-buying experience. It also boasts unique hours that make it easy to visit at night, outside of work hours (Sunday-Thursday: 12pm-7pm and Friday-Saturday: 12pm-9pm).

I can't sum up The River Trading Company any better than an excerpt from its own website: "The River Trading Company is an eddy. We have a net out which catches the books and a few other items that we find interesting. We hold them for others to find. It is also a pool where you can throw what you don’t want or need, so it can drift into someone else’s keeping."


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