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 6, 2010


Some time ago a friend asked me to close my eyes and imagine a certain scene.

"Suppose," she said, "that you are walking along somewhere and notice a key on the ground. You pick it up. You've never seen this key before but you recognize it at once as your own."

Rather an odd supposition.
"Study it."
I complied. I hefted the weight of the imaginary key in my mind. The friend asked me to describe it in detail. I told her about the metallic composition, the color, the design on the head; about the shaft and the teeth of the key. It was fun.

When I opened my eyes, she said, "You know the symbolism, don't you? You have just described your secret ambition."

I had a secret ambition? Who knew?

I do not like locking things up. I don't lock my house or car or diary or heart. Yet I do sort of like keys.

The other day I stopped into riverrun and made my way over to the blue chair. Right in front of the chair was a box full of keys. There were bundles and bundles of keys.

"Wow, where did you get these?"
"I always buy keys," said Chris.

I sorted happily through the treasure box, threading the best ones onto a piece of string.

As I was getting ready to leave both Michael and Chris rushed in to advice me against taking the string home. "You already have too much stuff at home."

True, but I'm disregarding their helpful advice anyway and this is why:

It is uncommonly satisfying to hold a handful of secret ambitions.

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