November 09, 1981 12:00 PM

434 Post Street, San Francisco

With 75,000 rare books, many of them first editions, Howell has the largest inventory on the West Coast. To acquire books, the founder’s son, 68-year-old Warren Howell, regularly travels the globe with a steamer trunk and 11 navy blue suitcases. Often he’ll return $1 million poorer but with a treasure trove, picked up in cities ranging from London to Tokyo.

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