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.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Larry Moskowitz -Book Dealer and Book Scout Extraordinaire

photos by Christopher P. Stephens - 1985  

     Larry Moskowitz is a book dealer in California.  He deliberately keeps his inventory small and is only interested in books that are in perfect condition.  He was like that as a book scout too.  Only first editions in perfect condition.
     Larry and Ralph Sipper had been partners in Joseph the Provider Books.  Ralph sold.  Larry bought. Each was gifted in his role.
     Larry combed through book stores and through other scouts' stashes of books.  He ferreted out first editions in perfect condition.
     We saw a lot of Larry when he still lived in New York.  He was a great scout and helped Chris Stephens fill even pretty obscure back orders from Chris' Sixties catalogue.  Larry had a very good memory, an especially superb visual memory.   If he'd seen a book, he could find it.
     Larry would regularly bring a couple of shopping bags to Chris.  They'd be hard-to-find copies of  1960s authors or Latin American authors in English translation, another category that kept generating back orders for Chris.   Larry traded the shopping bags for a couple of rare modern classics.
     At that time, in the 1970s and 80s, Chris' backorders were from university libraries.  They were buying Chris' recommendations for their English departments.  The libraries didn't require perfect copies.  The books were for reading.  They were going into circulation.
     Chris knew this.  Larry knew this.  It didn't matter.   Larry's shopping bags of titles from Chris' Sixties catalogue were filled with the best.  First editions in perfect condition.  The libraries didn't care, but Chris and Larry did.

Larry Moskowitz and Ralph Sipper grew up together.  They were school chums before they were book business partners.  Ralph wrote a book about Larry, Larry Moskowitz: Man of Espirit, published by Oak Knoll Press.

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