I officially entered the book business in 1996 by creating and managing a retail bookstore for the Mountaineers Club in Seattle, Washington. The store focussed on the Club’s own current publications as well as in-print titles from other publishers in the U.S. and from around the world. The success of Jon Krakauer’s best selling book Into Thin Air had brought the subject of mountaineering adventure (and tragedy) into the mainstream and before long, customers were demanding access to older works that were long out of print. I started studying bibliographies and rare book catalogs and eventually began a subscription to the esteemed AB Bookman's Weekly. It was then that I stumbled and fell head first into the antiquarian book trade. During the summer of 1998 I attended the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar. Upon completion I began assembling a decent inventory and then established my own used and rare book business under the name of Karakoram Mountaineering & Exploration Literature (17 syllables). My focus at that time was strictly limited to climbing literature with an emphasis on Himalayan expeditions and travel. I fondly remember issuing several catalogues the first two years, each one typed on a word processor, photocopied, hand stapled, and mailed to a small but financially stable list of mountaineering literature enthusiasts.
I began exhibiting annually at the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair and a couple of other west coast fairs. After a while the demand for mountaineering books seemed to dwindle so I gradually moved away from them and focussed more on the books that really interested me, primarily works on Magic, Witchcraft and Alchemy, with a side of Erotica and a cabinet full of curious lore. I then changed the business name to Richard Bishop Bookseller (7 syllables). For a short time I had a tiny brick and mortar shop in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square district, surrounded by a half dozen other established antiquarian booksellers. I eventually closed the shop (years before it became popular) and have been selling online ever since.
Richard Bishop Bookseller / Portland, OR / 503.704.2376 / email@example.com