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, December 14, 2009

River View

The Anaconda Copper Company operated on the Hudson River.

During WWII machine guns were mounted on the factory rooftops to deter enemy ships from sneaking up-river to West Point.

In the 1960s, management responded to a local wildcat strike by closing down the Hastings on Hudson plant. The machinery was quiet. The buildings were empty.

riverrun has connections to Anaconda. The bookstore is housed in the old union hall. One can almost hear echoes of rousing speeches mixed in with the voices of all the books here.

Steve Kanfer made a beautiful decoupage-topped table for riverrun out of one of the giant wooden spools Anaconda used for copper wire. That table is still here.

For a few years Chris Stephens warehoused books in a section of one of the old Anaconda buildings. We had to bring cartons of books upstairs in a huge freight elevator. Not everyone likes elevators. I don't. This one was slow and it creaked and finally the lights went out. We had to take books up and down in a scary elevator in the dark.

For decades toxic residue from copper smelting and the mostly empty buildings were a blight on this otherwise charming town. Abandoned Anaconda blocked the river view from Washington Ave.

Now that's all changed. Come to the bookstore. See the river.

Hastings Historical Society article on Anaconda Copper Company

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