Sunday, December 20, 2009

Stealing books

From a Margo Rabb essay on book theft:

“It’s mostly younger men stealing the books,” Zack Zook, the general manager of BookCourt in Brooklyn, suggested. “They think it’s an existential rite of passage to steal their homeboy.”

Steal These Books (New York Times)
Even in my little town, the barely solvent bookstore had to keep Charles Bukowksi and Jack Kerouac at the front desk.

Reader, have you ever stolen a book? Me, never.


My friend Linda pointed me to this beautiful story:

Boy Lifts Book; Librarian Changes Boy’s Life (NPR)

(Thanks, Linda!)

comments: 4

Tim Randolph said...

Oh God no! Stealing books is double-evil stealing. At the end of the day books are fungible as economic objects, but stealing one undercuts the great Enlightenment idea that information should be freely shared and the literary arts are nobler than just making a living. It is on the small end of the spectrum that ends with library burning.

Sara said...

No, but I know people who have.

Elaine said...

Heavens, NO. For Pete's sake, the library is FREE. Take out all the books you want. Your tax dollars at work! Run across an unexpected inspiration. Pick up free things on the give-away table; (my latest: two dozen _New Yorker_ magazines.) Be a face that all the librarians know; they'll start recommending other books for your reading pleasure.

Besides, I like being able to face myself in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

I stole a book from a library once. It was a very old copy of The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle. Pyle had some amazing artwork in his books (I highly recommend looking him up on Amazon and checking out some of the drawings) and people had been drawing all over them - cliched stuff like moustaches on women, horns on knights, etc. I was really bothered by the fact that kids were defacing a book that was printed in 1903, so I took it to, essentially, save it from further harm. I still have it in my collection and probably always will.