RAY BOAS, BOOKSELLER
I trace my interest in books back to age six, when my Grandfather introduced me to collecting United States Commemorative Stamps. What followed was an interest in US history, especially that found in books, and I began “collecting” a few old books. At that time it was still safe to ride my bicycle to antique shops on US 7 in my home town of Wilton, Connecticut. When I was twelve I won a letterpress printing press, began a printing business, and also set up a photographic darkroom. These two areas of interest facilitated learning about books, and provided background for local history books I published in the 1980s.
From my experience I have learned that booksellers never start out as booksellers, we all get there from somewhere else. In my case, I spent twenty-two years in the US Navy, Supply Corps (the business end of the Navy) before my retirement in January, 1990. Ten years before, in 1980, I began buying and selling Business and Financial Histories and Biographies to the collectors of antique stocks and bonds. I soon discovered I had a “knack” for finding good books, and then finding the “right home” for those books. When I retired, I opened my first bookshop in Haddonfield, New Jersey. It was a decision I will never regret. During the first five years I worked hard acquiring my stock, learning the business, doing innumerable shows, opened a second shop and sold books in several malls.
Cathy and I met in 1993 and married in 1995. Cathy had worked for over fifteen years in sales and marketing in corporate America, and was starting to experience that “corporate burnout.” She was one of the top sales representatives at Lotus Development Corporation. Shortly after we married, we had an opportunity to move back to my home state of Connecticut moving the shop, and our home into a unique “old mill” property. On September 1, 1995, Ray Boas, Bookseller, officially opened in New Preston, Connecticut.
At about the same time the “Internet Revolution” began to take off, particularly for the book business. We were part of the early development, and it changed how we do business. I no longer travel to book shows, yet we still work seven days a week. We now catalog books for uploading to our various websites, and communicate with customers from all over the world. We are truly blessed to live and work under the same roof doing what we enjoy. Our exceptional “miracle story” happened in 2002, when we relocated to Walpole, New Hampshire.
We derive satisfaction from “getting the right book to the right person, ” and we know our books have brought pleasure to countless thousands. It makes it all worthwhile! Thank you for taking the time to read “about us”.
Lord! when you sell a man a book you don’t sell him just twelve
ounces of paper and ink and glue — you sell him a whole new life.
Love and friendship and humor and ships at sea by night —
there’s all heaven and earth in a book, a real book I mean.
From “Parnassus on Wheels” by Christopher Morley