Flying Off the Shelves

The Pleasures and Perils of Chasing Book Thieves

Comments

1
Enjoyed the read. I hadn't realized there were target books out there for shoplifting. Then again, I pay for my books so I guess I've no need to pay attention to that. It might explain why I can't find a decent graphic novel in our used book stores to save my life. Thanks for the knowledge!
2
If you added Jack Kerouac, Franz Kafka, Hunter S. Thompson, Harlan Ellison, David Goodis to the five you alteady named, this looks like s list of the 10 authors you almost never see at a Goodwill or the shelves of a used book store. Unless they are in the window or under glass, the store won't have it.
3
Haha, I was searching for a list of top stolen books and this was the first result. Great narrative.
4
As someone who has recovered from a very real addiction to stealing books, I'm shocked that there are so many young, wannabe-bohemian white men stealing from independent stores. The only way I was ever able to justify this selfish act to myself was by limiting my theft to Borders and Barnes N Noble, a rule to myself that I never broke. It still troubles me, that I was so cavalier about my actions for so long, but at least I wasn't actively destroying the lives of a few individuals; I was dipping into the profit margin of the enormous corporation and its insurers, raising the price of books that already cost too much, are read too little, and understood even less.
5
i try to only steal books written by authors who are dead or aren't likely to miss the money. i don't ever really steal from indie bookstores, though. I'm not sure exactly what the reasoning is. But I guess it has something to do with the fact that I don't feel as much empathy for large corporate entities as I feel for smaller, less bureaucratized and money-focused human endeavors. Anyway, but considering the kind of value that independent bookstores have for a community, it is fucked up that people still steal from them. There are some books that have been life-changing experiences for me that I would have never found at my local Barnes & Noble. If not for independent book sellers that make an effort to promote good literature and serve as a counterweight to the commercialized mess of corporate retailers, this world would lose would lose a bit of its flavor and romance.
6
to all book thieves: you know there's a place called the library where the books are FREE!
7
The picture of portly Paul Constant waddling after a book thief is quite amusing.
8
Don't forget Zane. That should be the No. 1 most shoplifted book in The South. Seriously. At the big box bookseller I work, we do not have any Zane on the bookshelf, despite the computer saying we should have 8 different titles in varying quantity. My store manager won't order more in, despite the obvious absence, because they'll just get stolen again. I love to watch the thieves come ask about the Zane books. I tell them if they aren't on the shelf we don't have any. Their evil little faces look so sad.
9
I have an extensive Library of shoplifted books. And enjoy a good restful sleep, with no guilt whatsoever over it. I have most all of Terry Pratchett's, in FE Hardback. He doesn't seem too bothered by it, (I have discussed it with him) and even feels proud that he is the number one shoplifted Author in the UK today. I think he should get some kind of award for that. Not specifically for that, but for being an all round top geezer.
10
With one exception all my thieves have been white males in their mid 60's stealing books because, quite simply, they want them, but don't want to pay.

It is a breathtaking example of a sense entitlement.

I also have a strong, and rather unpleasant impression that some get their "jollies" from stealing. Of course their tastes are rather expensive, so I have the added burden of sleepless nights figuring how to pay the rent.

The worst of it is the local kids, who could benefit from reading the occasional stolen book, never do.