Cathleen Rivera owns and operates Loose Leaf Pages Inc., an independent bookstore and tea bar in Honesdale. The store highlights local authors and independent publishers. Rivera is a native of Honesdale and graduated from Honesdale High School and Kutztown University, where she earned a degree in English literature. She and her husband, Travis, live in Honesdale.
Meet Cathleen Rivera…
What was your inspiration for first opening Loose Leaf Pages Inc.?
The more I got to know the area, I saw how much talent was right here, and I really wanted to highlight that. I didn’t just want a “throw-them-a-bone” small little local authors section in the store. I really wanted that to be the main reason for the store. And then, once I was doing some research for publishing works of my own, I saw how intense large publishing can be, and I found really amazing small publishing companies that cared a lot about what the author had to say. And so the rest of the store — even if they’re books from across the country — they’re from companies that maybe only two or three people work at and that really cherish the works of literature that they’re producing. And just because it’s not published by a large publishing company doesn’t mean it’s not a really superb work of literature.
Is the tea also a key component to the business?
The tea is a big part. It’s all organic, and all of the blends are our own original blends, which is a fun and creative avenue. And there are certainly people that come in and just want a cup of tea and to talk to their friends and relax. And we can certainly accommodate that. But I’ve had a really good response from the community so far in regards to the books, so there’s a nice balancing act. I always love a good cup of tea with my book, and I was kind of hoping when I opened that other people did, too.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I really like to either read or watch Netflix. And I like to go running.
Favorite musical artists?
Moon Taxi, Broken Bells and the Oh Hellos.
All-time favorite movie?
“An Education.” The screenplay was written by one of my favorite authors, Nick Horby.
Favorite TV show?
I’m really looking forward to “Stranger Things 2.” And my all-time favorite is probably “Parks and Recreation.”
Favorite vacation spot?
I really like the beach. Anytime I go anywhere with sand, I get super happy.
Favorite thing about NEPA?
I absolutely love the sense of community. I’ve lived in Honesdale for such a long time, and I’ve seen it grow. I worked in Scranton and have seen an awesome community there. I really feel it’s a place that takes care of itself and the other communities around it.
I’m really digging Indian vegetable curry right now.
Halloween. I love going all-out for costumes, so it gives me a reason to dress as crazy as I would like to every other day.
Favorite book or author?
Angela Carter. It’s really hard to nail down a specific book, but she has a bunch of short stories, some of which play on modern fairy tales. She wrote her stuff in the 1960s, and that blows my mind — just how forward-thinking her work was, especially for that time. When I first read her works, there was just a fire ignited in me that doesn’t come along with every book you read.
A nice glass of white wine.
Biggest pet peeve?
When people don’t follow through with what they said they were going to do. They say “I’ll see you at 8,” and they’re not there until 8:20. Or they’ll say they’ll do a job for you, and the next day I find out it’s not done.
Is there anything about you that might surprise people?
I’m not involved with the troupe anymore, but I was a part of an improv comedy troupe. It was really fun, and I don’t think people expect that from me, because typically, in everyday life, I’m more on the quiet side.
Have you had a defining personal moment, or someone, or something, that has really helped shape you as a person?
Both of my parents have had such a positive impact on my life. I’ve made countless decisions to get to where I am today, and they’ve supported me and encouraged me to follow my heart in every choice that I’ve made. Even with the ones that might not have made sense to an outsider at the time — they’ve been there to help me rise and there to catch me if I fall.
UP CLOSE & PERSONAL with ALAN K. STOUT is a regular feature in electric city, profiling people from all walks of life throughout NEPA. Reach Alan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Emma Black