When we opened for business in April 2005, Kris and I weren't quite sure if this small, picturesque city would support a genuine, general interest, full service and independent bookstore, a city whose literate residents were used to driving for an hour or two or accessing the internet to buy books.
We were hopeful, of course, but we had no way to know in advance if our dream to create and build The Well Red Coyote would withstand the test of time.
Well, we're happy to tell you that it has, so much so that by the time you are reading this column, we will have renewed our lease and moved into a new suite - same building but on the 89A side, right next to Euro Deli. We're open for business, with a new layout and a new and invigorated inventory of books, CD's, cards and gifts.
And, as we settle in to our new digs, we're making plans for a "grand re-opening" party on Friday evening, Aug. 26, with Lyra - Allen Ames and Maryanne Kremer-Ames - performing a special concert out on our new patio. Save the date - you're all invited!
The past two to three years have been a challenge for all of us. In addition to the (continuing) Great Recession, however, independent bookstores have had to deal with the unfair competitive practices of online retailers as well as the proliferation of e-readers and e-books.
The Well Red Coyote has survived and is growing again, thanks to many of you. I say many - not most or all of you - because despite our six and a half years of demonstrating that we are committed to giving this community one of the best bookstores in the country, there are still local readers who have never been in our store and many others who believe in the false premise that everything purchased online is cheaper and better.
But, we're not trying to change minds any more. Do what and shop where you believe you must. The Well Red Coyote will be there for you when you need us, but our overriding mission is to continue to serve all of you that have supported us. And, like you, we believe that the physical book will never become obsolete.
Our inventory is pretty darn good and getting better all the time. We welcome your special orders and promise to have that order in your hands in less than a week. We've hosted over 1,500 book and music events and will continue to do so, bringing you personal access to national, regional and local authors and musicians. And, last but certainly not least, we will continue to sponsor the Sedona Book Festival, the third annual installment of which will be in less than two months, on Oct. 1.
Thanks you book lovers of Sedona and the Verde Valley.
Come in and check out our new store, and come by and help us celebrate on Aug. 26.
Joe Neri is the co-owner of The Well Red Coyote bookstore in Sedona. He can be contacted at (928) 282-2284 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)