With more than 30 years slinging printed matter, Ken Sanders is truly a Uconoclast. To look into his eyes—the color of an old paperback's still-bold ink—is to wonder at all of the words that have passed before them. Countless many, no doubt.
Sanders' lifelong fascination with books (it's noted as bibliophilia in his bio) first took root in grade school with Scholastic Book Club books. By age 14, he was a serious book collector and collected Edgar Allen Poe, Lewis Carroll, Maxfield Parrish, Gustave Dore and many others. This passion led to the period from 1975 to 1981, when he co-owned The Cosmic Aeroplane, Salt Lake City’s former counter-culture hub. He founded Dream Garden press in 1980 and Ken Sanders Rare Books in 1990; the latter sits at 268 S. 200 East.
His interests range from Western lore to Mormon history to contemporary works. And taking a walk through the stacks and stacks of books at his store is like taking a walk through the knowledge-filled catacombs of this antiquarian booksellers mind.
Learn more at KenSandersBooks.com.
*While I had actually been brainstorming ways to create a creative portrait of Ken, this photo happened by accident. I was downtown on location for this GREENbike SLC shoot, and Ken walked past. After greeting him, I saw how similar his shirt looked to the graffitied wall on East Broadway and asked him to take a picture. I snapped the camera once (a new record!).
Photographer and award-winning journalist Austen Diamond specializes in creative portraiture, commercial photography and editorial photojournalism. For booking inquiries and to view his portfolio, go to www.AustenDiamond.com.