Bibliophiles have a strong attraction to books.
They look, touch, smell, and collect books as a hobby.
But most of them don't steal books to feed their bibliomania.
Yet, John Gilkey did exactly that.
The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Passion tells John Gilkey's story. Allison Hoover Bartlett leads us on an epic journey of the pros and cons to collecting books, why people collect, and how they perceive themselves in the world of literature. Most collectors are middle aged, white men who want to own the most prestigious library that stands in their own home. Many other rare book buyers are merely trying to make a profit. Allison let us journey with her to the book fairs, rare book stores, and even Goodwill to find the answers she was looking for.
John Gilkey was not your average rare book collector. The majority of his books were stolen or paid for with stolen credit cards. He began by writing bad checks for books that were far out of his price range. Which led to stealing credit card numbers and using a ploy to purchase books over the phone. His entire life was based around theft.
But why send someone to prison for stealing books?
This question was one that Gilkey often struggled with because he believed he obtained all his books in a reasonable manner.
Throughout this book, Allison, Gilkey, and a variety of rare book sellers and collectors alike shared their input as to what books do for them. Each person has different events that led them to books. But they all had one thing in common, a disdain for Gilkey.
This book brought me so much joy.
I never thought about books being art.
I never thought about collecting.
And I definitely never thought about stealing a book.
But this book has opened my eyes to an entire new world of literary passion.
If you are a fellow book lover, definitely pick up a copy of this book!!