Red Fox Books – a Tribute


Another small, family-owned bookstore has closed its doors. For those of you who might be reading this in places beyond the Greater Glens Falls Region, the name Red Fox Books might not ring a bell, but its name is emblematic of the rapid decline of bookstores large and small that sell actual, as opposed to virtual, books. Red Fox Books’ owners Susan and Naftali did Glens Falls a mighty service for their five years on Ridge Street, including providing the wonderful venue where new authors could sell their books.  I am one of those new authors and I thank them for the trust they placed in me and for making my novel known to more readers.

On their Red Fox Books website, Susan and Naftali posted an honest, heartfelt message about their decision to close. I encourage you all to read it.  Here is a pertinent quote, which is chilling to read:

Unfortunately, the extremely sluggish regional economy and the rapid rise of e-books have led to a shocking decline in our sales over the past year.  We don’t foresee conditions improving in the near future, and at this point, we have exhausted all our resources to keep the business afloat.  We want to believe that bookstores won’t die out entirely, but for the time being, the challenge posed by digital media, in all its forms, is simply too much for us to withstand.

The message continues with the hope that someone might want to continue the store and gives contact information. Again, I urge you to read it in full by going to their site, Red Fox Books.

I have written since 1975, when I first started a local history column for the Post-Star in Glens Falls. This change to electronic media is one I comprehend, yet do not understand, if you appreciate the nuance. Over the years, I have collected books and written books. The Burning of The Piping Rock was my first novel. I was thrilled to have my book carried by Red Fox.

I won’t veer down memory lane with a soliloquy on the joy of reading from a paper book, or collecting books, or even publishing them. I will simply say goodbye, again, to yet another place where fingers could touch bound, printed paper on which the print could become a smudge, the pages dog-eared and worn and, perhaps even filled with handwritten notes that led the reader to become a writer.

Thank you Naftali and Susan. I wish you both all the best in the world.

Joe Cutshall-King

 

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5 responses to “Red Fox Books – a Tribute

  1. Well-written, Joe. Thank you. The closing of Red Fox Books is a huge loss for our community and will be sorely missed. There’s nothing like cracking the spine of a new book. I echo your thanks to Susan and Naftali.

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  2. N. Abbott-Hourigan

    I truly want to cry over this news! We have lost nearly all our bookstores herei in Burlington – Boarders being the most recent to close up both stores this month, but the smal, indy shops long gone. I want you to know that I deleted my order for a Kindle just because you posted this at almost the very moment I was ready to “pull the trigger” and hit “buy”. I have always been in love with ‘real’ books and it was really a brush with insanity that I considered an e-reader! Even my young grandson loves ‘real’ books better than the Nook I bought him for Christmas! Smart boy and I admire his love for books.

    I am so profoundly sorry that Red Fox is just another wonderful bookstore that has suffered the fates of technology.

    Your admiring reader and friend,
    Nan

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    • Nan, thanks for your lovely reply. I cannot believe about Burlington! I recall a shop on Church Street that I went to in `65 and saw a book about he Beatles. It showed them in a charcoal rendering as “old” men. About, oh, 55. All in bowlers and suits. I wanted that book! And I have never seen it since. But I loved Burlington. (Church St. had car traffic then! Sheesh am I old!)

      I believe the printed book will dip to near non-existence and then come back, as the fad wears thin. Books will never be the same, though. They’ll be a faddish thing, I won a kindle. It’s limited.

      Meanwhile, another bookstore is gone. Such a sad day.

      Joe

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  3. N. Abbott-Hourigan

    Sorry about the typos and mispellings! I should have proofed first!

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