If, like me, you haven’t been born into a family that boasts generations of booksellers, if bookselling isn’t in your blood, you can always learn from the past. Reading the memoirs of those booksellers who came before us can be as edifying as it is entertaining. There are many to booksellers from which to choose, but two in particular can inspire and educate: Leona Rostenberg and Madeleine B. Stern.
“The Colorado Seminar, which gives a great overview of the trade, is like undergraduate school,” said another bookseller who was in Colorado with me. “Rare Book School is like graduate school.” I remembered that description and I wondered how I would know I was ready to attend “graduate school” for antiquarian booksellers.