Feb 3, 2009
Robert Rulon-Miller is an antiquarian book dealer who lives, if not in a mansion, then at the very least in a great big house on Summit Avenue, one of the toniest in St. Paul, Minnesota. Not that toiling as a bookseller is anyway to get rich quick. He has worked hard for many years in the business, specializing in 'Rare, Fine & Interesting Books in Many Fields; 1st Editions, Americana; Literature; Fine & Early Printing; Travel; and the History of Language.' His most recent catalogue is titled Language and Learning. Robert is also the Director of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar scheduled for August 2nd-7th, 2009, at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, immediately following the Denver Antiquarian Book Fair.
We met at his home to talk books. Topics covered include de-accessioning, railway and mining tycoon James J. Hill, Robert's friendship with Elmer Anderson, book collector and Governor of Minnesota; Robert’s interest in words and language, his expertise in dictionaries and grammars, and lack of interest in Dr. Johnson’s Dictionary, Better World Books’s business model, partnering to buy and sell expensive books, and advice for the novice bookseller.