Monday, June 4, 2012

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession By: Allison Hoover Bartlett

This book follows the career of a book thief named John Charles Gilkey.  It starts with the man who is hunting him down, Ken Sanders, a book collector who has been stolen from. It also shows the world of collecting books, from rare first editions to historic books that are worth a ton of money.  It shows how Ken Sanders was given the job of book thief detective and shows his frustration of trying to find Gilkey.  But the main story line is about the obession that Gilkey develops for getting a hold of books no matter what the cost. He has a whole live of stealing as he worked at Saks and would copy down the credit card numbers of people that purchased items from Saks.  It shows a man that is obsessed with obtaining what he thinks will give him wealth and not feeling the least bad about it. 

It thought this was an interesting book.  It was like a secret club of people that specialize in getting their hands on rare books and have at one point all been stolen from. I liked the authors writing style in that it read as a mystery novel giving the backgrounds of the characters and all the right details.  I don't know that I would have picked this book on my own, as it was a book club pick, but I am glad I read it. It was really fascinating to just read about this man who really didn't think or care that he was doing something with other peoples money and stealing from others.  I thought the best line was when Bartlett asked if he had ever taken a book from a library and he said "No that would be stealing"  Interesting man!

I borrowed this from the public library, in the large print edition to get it in time to read for book club :)
ISBN: 978-1-4104-2332-0

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