Friday, December 18, 2009

Stealing Books

Interesting (and ironic) factoids from an essay that will appear in the NYT Sunday Book Review, already posted on the NYT website:
  • The book most often stolen is the Bible. (At least, most often stolen from BookPeople bookstore in Austin, Texas.) The Bible even is stolen from a Christian bookstore that will give 'em away free is people ask for one. (Maybe when they know you'll give it away, they figure they don't need to ask....)
  • St. Mark's Bookshop in Manhattan locks up the work of certain authors in a display case because they're so often stolen. ("This library of temptation includes books by Martin Amis, Charles Bukowski, William S. Burroughs, Raymond Carver, Don DeLillo and Jack Kerouac, among others.")
  • The most-stolen authors are male, apparently because book thieves are predominantly male.
  • "Only 40 percent of books that are read are paid for, and only 28 percent are purchased new, said Peter Hildick-Smith of the Codex Group, a consultant to the publishing industry. The rest are shared, borrowed, given away — or stolen."

Read the full essay, "Steal These Books," here.


Charles Gramlich said...

Wow, didn't know stealing books was such a big business. I know from working in libraries that a lot of stealing from them does take place.

Steve Malley said...

Oddly enough, out of all the various thoughts your post provoked, the one sticking with me is, "I wonder what the most-stolen book is in places where the culture *isn't* Christian-dominated?"

Merry Christmas, Sphinx!! :D

Lana Gramlich said...

Speaking as a current librarian, I can back up what Charles said. It's damned depressing & so freaking unnecessary!
At any rate, happy holidays, hon! My best to you & yours for 2010!

Steve Malley said...

Sidenote: oddly enough, this morning I read that the most-stolen book in the UK is the London A-Z street map!

Go figure... :)