Christopher P. Stephens, Bookman

Chris Stephens has been a book dealer since 1965 - earlier if you count childhood buying and selling.

Stephens has sold major collections to university libraries all over the world. He has operated appealing bookstores in Mt. Carroll, Illinois, Hastings on Hudson, NY and several in NYC, NY. He is a wholesale dealer to other bookstores all over the world.

Chris loves books.

Stephens now maintains a lively internet operation out of his new home in Scranton, PA.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dom & Literary Magazines

Little magazines have quite an appeal. Unconstrained by rules necessary in big enterprises, an editor can follow an idiosyncratic vision. Chris Stephens has always picked up literary magazines – little magazines – in his book buying travels. He sorts though them and admires them and then packs them in boxes for storage somewhere.
In the 1990s, riverrun had a fabulous storage area. It was the north half of the fourth floor in an old brewery down by the Hudson River. There’s a duck pond in front of the building and trees all around. There were a lot of books and little magazines in that storage warehouse.
One day, back in the retail store, a new walk-in customer asked about little magazines. The customer asked one of the employees.
Chris Stephens, an erudite bookman long on knowledge but short on bedside manner, wisely leaves dealing with customers to the friendlier employees. This particular friendly employee didn't know little magazines. “Nooo,” said the employee somewhat vaguely. “No. I don't think we carry anything like that here. Sorry.”
Chris came up out of the back and introduced himself to the customer, Dominique Boer. Dom and Chris hit it off instantly. They talked Paris Review, Hudson Review, Poetry magazine, Partisan Review, Tri-Quarterly. They discussed older little magazine like Yale Review and Philadelphia Literary, and European little magazines. They went to the warehouse and opened boxes and talked books. It was a very happy time. A very happy friendship developed out of that first meeting over little magazines.

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