The Man Who Loved Books Too Much
In the tradition of The Orchid Thief, a compelling narrative set within the strange and genteel world of rare-book collecting: the true story of an infamous book thief, his victims, and the man determined to catch him. Rare-book theft is even more widespread than fine-art theft. Most thieves,... show more
In the tradition of The Orchid Thief, a compelling narrative set within the strange and genteel world of rare-book collecting: the true story of an infamous book thief, his victims, and the man determined to catch him. Rare-book theft is even more widespread than fine-art theft. Most thieves, of course, steal for profit. John Charles Gilkey steals purely for the love of books. In an attempt to understand him better, journalist Allison Hoover Bartlett plunged herself into the world of book lust and discovered just how dangerous it can be. John Gilkey is an obsessed, unrepentant book thief who has stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of rare books from book fairs, stores, and libraries around the country. Ken Sanders is the self-appointed "bibliodick" (book dealer with a penchant for detective work) driven to catch him. Bartlett befriended both outlandish characters and found herself caught in the middle of efforts to recover hidden treasure. With a mixture of suspense, insight, and humor, she has woven this entertaining cat-and-mouse chase into a narrative that not only reveals exactly how Gilkey pulled off his dirtiest crimes, where he stashed the loot, and how Sanders ultimately caught him but also explores the romance of books, the lure to collect them, and the temptation to steal them. Immersing the reader in a rich, wide world of literary obsession, Bartlett looks at the history of book passion, collection, and theft through the ages, to examine the craving that makes some people willing to stop at nothing to possess the books they love.
Publish date: October 5th 2010
Publisher: Riverhead Trade
Pages no: 274
Edition language: English
As both an undergraduate and graduate student, I had a penchant for spending time in the rare manuscripts rooms at both BYU and University of Wisconsin-Madison. While my studies in African History did require me to spend time there to peruse books for research, I enjoyed taking time to thumb through...
This was a completely accidental find -- I was searching NEIBORS for books by an author with the last name of Hoover, and this came up in the search. My NaNoWriMo novel is about a librarian, and the idea of book thieves totally caught my attention. I'm not a huge reader of nonfiction, but this read ...
In theory I should have loved this book. Bartlett mixes two of my favorite things (a good crime story and a love of books) and it is even a true story! And, I do think that it was a (slightly) interesting read and that Bartlett had three valid points. Unfortunately, Bartlett is a journalist and th...
I found this only intermittently interesting, mainly in the asides on book collecting and interviews with book traders who do genuinely love books. Ken Sanders, who tracks down the book thief of the title, is also an interesting character and one I felt the author didn't focus on enough.The book's p...
La premisa es interesante, pero deja de serlo pronto y no hay nada nuevo que vuelva a llamarte la atención. Si bien es agradable leer sobre el amor por los libros, suele desagradarme esa reverencia que tienen algunos hacia la literatura, como si leer te volviera una raza glorificada de ser humano.Ha...