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.

Monday, March 30, 2009


left April 1988 - riverrun
right January 2009 - riverrun

Isabel left today. We hated to see her return to Boston but she did leave the riverrun order table caught up. She pulled orders and wrapped packages all week.
Isabel has been a bookstore kid ever since she was born. For the first 8 years of her life, she lived in a bookstore. In a sense. Her father, Chris Stephens, ran his book operation from our home.

I worked outside. During Isabel's first year, I ran a new bookstore at Masters School in Dobbs Ferry. The school wanted to spruce up it's textbook distribution and I enjoyed widening the inventory to include trade books, posters, stationary and gifts. I went to my first wholesale show - the Stationary Show at Jacob Javits Center - in May 1986. Isabel was less then 2 weeks old. She came along. We had fun together.

When the new Masters bookstore opened in the autumn, Isabel was there. Each day I carried her to work in a basket lined with pink & white gingham. The students came to see her as much as to buy books.

The next year I left Masters and worked in heaven. riverrun bookstore. Frank Scioscia, Isabel's grandfather, was delighted to have her in the store with me. She toddled over the long red carpet and browsed the shelves.

Later still Isabel had her own little office in the back of riverrun behind some shelves. She bustled about in her private space, or came and helped in the main part of the store.

When Isabel was old enough, she went to school. The school bus picked her up in the mornings near our house. In the afternoons, the bus left her off on the corner of Warburton and Washington so she could walk down the hill to riverrun.

Isabel worked in riverrun in her high school years and during college vacations. She graduated last year from a Great Books college, St. John's in Santa Fe. Appropriate for a book store kid. Now though, she's taking pre-med courses in Boston.

Some say that being a doctor is a good job, a good life. But really. Can it compare to the satisfaction of working in a bookstore?

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