Pat and I  met in a history seminar at UNL on our second attempts at college. With History/ English majors, we were both readers but Pat introduced me to book collecting. (She was buying first editions from Blackwell’s of London with her text book money). As we were looking for books for ourselves we would find nice books outside our interests which we began selling to dealers to fund our personal buying. We went to auctions and estate sales and, eventually, visited bookstores and book fairs throughout the U.S. as well as Canada, Mexico, England and Ireland. When we started Bluestem Books in 1977 we were buying a lot more than we were selling and started dreaming about opening our own store.


In 1984 we rented space in an old warehouse in the Haymarket, quit our jobs and after months of renovation, opened to the public. We couldn’t have made a better decision.


After 24 years “under the bridge”, we moved 3 blocks to our new location in 2008. It’s now been 36 years. Three generations of our family have worked at the shop., Sadly, Pat passed away in 2019 but Kelly, a daughter-in-law, and I are continuing the tradition, an old fashioned, traditional book store in an ever-changing world.

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