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.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Conversation with Dominique Bohr - Editor, Book Dealer

"Nothing changed my life more than computers," says Dominique Bohr. "With a computer and the internet, you are plugged into the world's greatest library - that is the best thing."
When Dom's son was in second grade, he wrote report on his father. "My father," Benji wrote "is mainly interested in knowledge."
"That's right," says Dom. "Anything. It doesn't even have to have any relevance to my life.
"When I was young, I worked, following knowledge, for Elsevier Publishing Company. Elsevier put out a good Dutch language encyclopedia. It's widely read in The Netherlands. Sixty or seventy percent of Dutch households would have that encyclopedia on their bookshelves at home.
"I was one of about 10 editors revising the encyclopedia. Elsevier had very strict rules about the format for the articles and how to handle issues like country of origin. You know, in Europe people are always being born in countries that don't exist anymore.
"My responsibilities were to research and revise entries at the end of G and all of H. That included gravity. We had a renowned physicist writing an entirely new article on gravity but I knew a little physics myself. Not much, but I was young enough to be really arrogant. As editor, I was basically proof reading the physicist's article. Somewhere though - probably in my science fiction reading - I thought I'd heard about something called a graviton. I wrote to the renowned physicist. I said 'your article is pretty good but why didn't you mention anything about gravitons?' "
Dom laughed heartily. He couldn't get over the fact that a kid who reads science fiction was given the editorial authority to challenge a mature scholar who has devoted his life to physics. Did the physicist respond?
"Yes," exclaimed Dom. "He apologized! He added a bit about gravitons to the encyclopedia article!"

Dom did plenty of other interesting things following, accumulating, and organizing knowledge. Now he's a book dealer. He says he was headed for that pleasure from the earliest times.
"In The Netherlands family and friends often give money for birthdays and other occasions. When I was seven or eight years old, I measured that money in pocket book buying power. One pocket book cost 25 gulden. That was my measure.

"The quantity of money that could purchase of one book was my basic unit of currency."

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