Books business returns to downtown River FallsA River Falls couple with bookstore careers will open Fox Den Used Books, 120 S. Main St., this week. That downtown address once housed Mr. Movies, Gemini Jewelers and, in the early 1990s, The Shoe Den.
By: Phil Pfuehler, River Falls Journal
A River Falls couple with bookstore careers will open Fox Den Used Books, 120 S. Main St., this week. That downtown address once housed Mr. Movies, Gemini Jewelers and, in the early 1990s, The Shoe Den.
Owners James and Heather Williams live in the town of Kinnickinnic. Their son, Evan, is a second grader at Greenwood Elementary School in Stephanie Linehan’s class.
For 17 years the Williams have owned and operated Sixth Chamber Used Books on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. Earlier this year the Minneapolis Star Tribune named Sixth Chamber Minnesota’s best used bookstore.
Heather Williams said the time seemed right to have a second store where the family lives.
“We love this community, have made a lot of friends here and there are so many young families around,” she said, adding that Main Street vacancies are gone and that the local business climate seems on the upswing.
“We’re near to the theater, the co-op, it’s a fun area, a fun block to be on,” Heather said.
Heather said that the look and feel of Fox Den, while slightly smaller than Sixth Chamber, will mirror that store’s tidy reputation.
“This is certainly not going to be anything like a musty old bookstore,” she said, referring to Fox Den.
Fox Den’s book inventory, while used, will reflect that cheery, clean look.
Customers can bring in books to sell or for store credit. The Williams say they’re picky about a book’s condition, but pay generously in cash and give double the amount for those taking store credit.
“What we’re looking for are clean, readable copies,” Heather said. “We don’t take books with water damage, broken spines or with writing in the body of the text.”
Fox Den won’t carry movies, but will have a sizable collection of toys, games, gifts and greeting-type cards.
Some toys, like tops and marbles, are old fashioned, and the Williams buy from companies that are “eco-friendly” and emphasize products with natural, sustainable and recycling materials.
For those selling books to Fox Den, a third option is to donate your credit to a River Falls elementary school of your choice. Those schools then earn gift cards once they reach $25 of donated credit.
The Williams say they’re motivated to help schools after seeing many teachers come to their St. Paul store and make classroom purchases of books and other items with their own money.
“They do this on their own and aren’t reimbursed,” James said. “This is our way of helping.”
Fox Den store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Sunday hours, for now, will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. but may fluctuate depending on the time of year.
The store’s phone number is 715-425-6180.
For much more on this business story, please see the Oct. 18 print edition of the River Falls Journal.