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.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

one riverrun stands alone

Frank Scioscia signed the lease for riverrun bookstore in 1978.  He loved the wooden floors and tin roof and, most importantly, the long open space for books. Shelves went up.  Books poured in.
A few years later the store was filled beyond reasonable capacity.
A storefront across the street became available, and Scioscia grabbed it.  We all joked about naming it “overrun”.
When Scioscia’s son-in-law, Chris Stephens, took over in 1994 he loaded books from his own book operations into both buildings and set up his desk on the south side.
For more than 30 years these 2 stores together were riverrun.  Customers would run back and forth across Washington Ave, gathering armloads of good books.
Now, the original store, the one on the north side of the street, is empty.  riverrun on the south side of the street carries on, like a lone twin.
It was incredibly hard to give up the north side but in the spring of 2012 we had to.  The landlord’s insurance company would not renew unless the structure supporting the floor was reinforced.  To reinforce the floor, the store had to be empty.  All those shelves.  All those books.
Now one could roller skate through the ghost-sections of philosophy  and cinema and fiction.  If one knew how to roller skate.
For books though, for really wonderful books, come to riverrun on the south side of the street.  12 Washington Avenue.

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