MPR News: Adventures in the book trade

A wry, unvarnished chronicle of a career in the rare book trade during its last Golden AgeHave you heard of Steve Blumberg, the world famous book bandit? The St. Paul native stole over $5 million in rare books and stored them in a ruined mansion in Ottumwa, Iowa. The story is the stuff of fiction — except that it really happened. 

No one expects mystery, thievery and millions of dollars to occur in the same sentence as the word “books.” But the Blumberg story is just one of many included in Gary Goodman’s new memoir, The Last Bookseller: A Life in the Rare Book Trade.

Goodman owned and operated St. Croix Antiquarian Books in Stillwater, Minn. He helped establish Stillwater as the first-ever official “book town” in North America. 

Now semi-retired Goodman joins MPR News host Angela Davis to talk about the wild world of book dealing. Judith Kissner, the owner and operator of Scout & Morgan Books in Cambridge, Minn., joins the conversation to shed light on how the business has been transformed by the internet and the pandemic.  

Listen to Gary's conversation with Angela Davis on MPR.

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