RIVERRUN is located 30 minutes from Midtown Manhattan along the eastern shores of the Hudson River in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. Easy to reach either by train or car, we are a block from the Metro North station, and just a few minutes off of the Saw Mill River Parkway (find your directions). While much of our inventory is listed for sale online, many books, prints, maps, and associated ephemera may be found in our shop. Our general hours are Thursday through Saturday 11am to 5pm, and we are available most other days by appointment. It is best to call or e-mail ahead to confirm hours and availability.
RIVERRUN was founded in 1978 by Frank Scioscia, a former sales executive for Harper’s Books, and was continued from 1993 by his son-in-law, Christopher P. Stephens, whose career as a bookman has spanned four decades. RIVERRUN was purchased by Tom Lecky in the Summer of 2016.
Prior to taking over RIVERRUN, Tom Lecky was Head of the Printed Books & Manuscripts Department at Christie’s auction house in New York, and a Senior Vice President there. Tom joined Christie’s in 1999 as a specialist, and was named head of department in 2006. Tom has extensive experience in the fields of science & technology, travel & exploration, and historical Americana, as well as English & American literature. As a former head of department in a major auction house, however, Tom has broad knowledge in all fields of books and manuscripts, from Homer to Harry Potter. Tom has worked on some of the most significant collections to come to auction in the last 25 years: prime among them are the auctions of the Kenneth Nebenzahl and Frank S. Streeter libraries of important Americana, navigation & voyages, and the Richard Green Library of Important Scientific Books.
Tom catalogued the publisher’s copy of Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica sold at Christie’s New York (where he remains a consultant) in December 2016 for $3.7million, a world record for a scientific book. This beat the previous record, which Tom also catalogued: the Richard Green copy of Nicholaus Copernicus's De revolutionibus (1543) that sold for $2.2 million dollars. This remains a world auction record for any sixteenth-century book at auction. Tom also handled Abel Buell's 1783 map of the United States that sold for $2.1 million. This remains a world auction record for any printed map. He has been involved in many other historic sales of the past quarter century, including those of Jack Kerouac’s typescript scroll of On the Road; The Helmut N. Friedlaender Library (early printed books, science, and literature); The Library of Abel E. Berland (English literature, early printed books); The Estelle Doheny Collection from St. Mary's of the Barrens, Perryville, Missouri (early printed books, Bibles, American literature); Masterpieces of Modern Literature: The Library of Roger Rechler; The Estate of Mary, Viscountess Eccles (English literature including Shakespeare); and The History of the Book: The Cornelius J. Hauck Collection (important historical texts, miniature books, and bindings). Tom cataloged the groundbreaking sale The Origins of Cyberspace, the first auction exclusively devoted to the history of the computer. Tom's skills and knowledge extend beyond the fields of printed books and manuscripts: at Christie’s he oversaw the sale of Bob Dylan's Fender Stratocaster that was used when he (in)famously “went electric” at Newport, 1964: at $964,000, it was a world record for a guitar sold at auction. Tom was an auctioneer at Christie's, and he has appeared since 1999 as an appraiser on PBS's Antiques Roadshow.
Tom previously served as Director of the Books & Prints Departments at Doyle New York. Tom was educated at Stanford University (MA American literature), Columbia College (BA English) and Choate Rosemary Hall. He is a member of the Grolier Club, the Bibliographical Society of America, The Manuscript Society, and occasionally finds time to pursue the recording of instrumental music, having released four albums under the name Hallock Hill.
More about Tom Lecky can be found on his PBS Antiques Roadshow appraiser page and in these select mentions in the press:
Fine Books & Collections: "Bright Young Booksellers: Tom Lecky"
Rare Book Monthly: "Tom Lecky, the next stage"
NY Times: “Bits of History (of Bits) on the Auction Block.”
NBC News: “Science Books Fetch Astronomical Prices.”
USA Today: “Copernicus book sells for more than $2.2M in New York.”
The Guardian: “Philip Roth tops the bill at PEN's annotated first edition auction.”
CNBC: “Walt Whitman Book Sells for $305,000.”
riverrun: a user’s manual
Many of our visitors ask about our inventory and the set-up of our shop. Here are some of the basics.
Why are so many of the books in bags?
The simple answer is that we inherited this system from our previous owner, and though we are working to take many of the books out of bags, there are some 10,000+ books to sort through. The more complicated answer is that most of our sales are made online and the bags both easily inventory and protect the books for our buyers. We like to protect books. But we agree that the bags are frustrating. New stock is shelved “unbagged.”
What do the numbers mean?
Those are our inventory numbers, and any book with a number can be found on our website. If you have a smartphone handy and go to our website, www.riverrunbookshop.com, you can enter the number in the search bar and learn more about the book.
Can I see the book out of the bag?
Of course! Books need to be held and seen. The bags are not meant to discourage you. We are happy to remove them for you if you ask us. Really. Don't be shy.
Do you have a section on________?
Maybe… since many of the books are shelved by inventory number, there are many books without a home in a category. We are working to change that and make things more browser friendly, but again, these things take time. In the meantime, you can see it as an opportunity to explore, or you can ask us to print you a list of books in certain categories, to search for a title or author, or you can ask us if we have a recommendation. We like to talk and look for things.
Some books don't have prices, how do I know how much it is?
New stock constantly is added here. Sometimes books are on shelves before we can price them. If you are interested in an unpriced book, we will review it and give you a fair and reasonable price for it.
Do you have more books elsewhere?
Yes. Ask us and we will show you. Many of the most valuable books are not seen on our shelves, and we are happy to show them to you. We also have a lot of behind-the-scenes uncatalogued material we can share with you.
What are your hours?
We are in almost every day of the week. But we are also out on calls, consulting, advising, at auctions, or hauling books. If you have a specific need or want to visit at a certain time, it is always best to call or email and set up an appointment. That being said, our general hours are Thursdays through Saturday, 11 to 5, unless there is a bibliographical emergency somewhere.