The Last Bookseller: A Life in the Rare Book Trade


Product Details

$19.95  $18.55
University of Minnesota Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.2 X 0.9 inches | 0.8 pounds
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About the Author

Gary Goodman is a semi-retired rare book dealer in Stillwater, Minnesota. He put six kids through college selling secondhand books, a feat that makes him a Genuine American Hero. He is coauthor of The Stillwater Booktown Times and The Secret History of Golf in Scotland.


"The Last Bookseller is a readable and witty book that offers an insider's account of a vital, disappearing trade. Packed with wry observations of colorful personalities, Gary Goodman not only captures an important moment in antiquarian book history--when a small river town in Minnesota becomes North America's first 'Book Town'--but also asks hard questions about what has been lost in the wake of new technology. At turns poignant, sharp, and laugh-out-loud funny, this memoir walks the fine line between being informative and wildly entertaining. Goodman offers a historical record of the book trade as well as preserving the untold stories of the men and women who made a living by selling words. Opening this book is like stepping into an old bookstore: wonders are around every corner."--Patrick Hicks, author of The Commandant of Lubizec and In the Shadow of Dora

"The Last Bookseller is an extraordinary new book, a beautifully written firsthand account of the adventures of a man who was a mover and shaker in the book business for nearly half a century . . . a sometimes hilarious, sometimes poignant portrait of the larger-than-life characters, including the author himself, who dominated the world of books when books were sold by warm-blooded human beings instead of by soulless robots and a few mouse clicks. The Last Bookseller will be high on the must-read list of book lovers everywhere."--Mark Ziegler, author of Wordsongs

"The Last Bookseller is the story of a dying breed--the traveling rare book dealers who roamed the earth at the end of the twentieth century. I knew Gary Goodman when he was selling books from a hole-in-the-wall bookstore in East St. Paul in the early 1980s. He went on to become one of the premier booksellers in the Midwest. In witty, unvarnished prose he describes what the book business was like before the internet drove the last booksellers to near extinction. This is a story that needed to be told."--Paul "The General" Kisselburg, Kisselburg Military Books

"A well-written, engaging, educational inside account by an experienced bookseller of the contemporary antiquarian book business. Told with insight, analysis, and humor by one who survived the experience."--Steve Anderson, Ross & Haines Old Books