Letter to the Editor: Closing the Pine Hill Bookstore

To the editor:

The Pine Hill Bookstore which has been located at 300 Main Street in Pine Hill since December 2010 is closing at the end of February. Business has been declining since the floods of 2011, and it has become impossible to continue to subsidize the store. We appreciate the forbearance that our landlord, Florence Hamling of the Pine Hill Roost Inc., has extended to us as we have been unable to meet the rent payments since November 2013. We have assured her that she will be paid in full once we get the store closed and we get back on our feet.

Many thanks to our customers over the years. We have enjoyed the opportunity to meet with people from all over the Catskills as well as tourists and skiers passing through Pine Hill. We have developed a loyal (but small) group of customers who have visited us often, and who often have contributed books to the inventory of the store.

We will continue to operate as an online bookstore selling on AbeBooks.com and Biblio.com. We will continue to sell our line of real wood made in Pine Hill bookshelves on Ebay and Etsy. We also will continue our activities as book vendors at Steampunk , Sci-Fi, and Faery Festivals such as Lunacon, Steampunk World’s Faire, and Macabre Faire.

An inventory of approximately 5,000 books will continue to be held at our home at 9050 Rte 28 in Pine Hill, as it has been since we moved to the Catskills in 2008. Interested book lovers are welcome to look over these books by stopping by the house. Please call 845-254-3309 first.

The bulk of our stock has been put into storage in Fleischmanns. For people who stop in as we pack up we are giving away free any books that they would like to have.

The Pine Hill Bookstore has been the only new business in Pine Hill for many years. People visiting the town as tourists and skiers often comment that it is one of the main interest points in the town. Many have said something like “Wow, this is a kick-ass bookstore.” The store has also been a de facto point of contact for people of Pine Hill who have stopped in many days to chat about local scuttlebutt not related to books. Since it has been the only business or organization open 7 days a week, with free information, wi-fi, and use of a bathroom. We suspect that the store will be missed. Happily, several people from other towns have approached us about putting a bookstore in their town. We are thinking about these possibilities.

We thought that new businesses would be coming to Pine Hill back in 2008 when we arrived in town. It is a charming town, with many empty storefronts offering a delightful environment to 21st Century entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, in spite of the efforts of the Pine Hill Main Street Committee, there seems to be an anti-business orientation in the town on the part of some. Some even advised people not to frequent the bookstore.

Similarly, several people have asked us if we will promote a steampunk festival in their town. This puts a smile on our faces in the midst of the sadness of closing the store.

Finally, we want to thank the Watershed Post for being a beacon of the “new economy.” The WP has been a major advertising outlet for us, and we look forward to continuing collaboration in the future.

Rusty Mae Moore and Chelsea (In Goth We Trust) Elisabeth Goodwin
Owners, Pine Hill Books