“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 is a book about obsession! What is it about BOOKS? Many of us love them, but we’re able to control our larcenous impulses in bookstores and libraries. Allison Bartlett interviewed John Charles Gilkey, who repeatedly employed credit card fraud to get the rare books he craved. She also writes about Ken Sanders, a bookseller who organizes security for a national booksellers association. He deplores the low priority the police establishment puts on recovery of stolen volumes.

One problem a reporter like Bartlett encounters is that, if you really find out how a thief operates, you are in danger of becoming complicit in the crimes!

Gilkey was caught in 2003 and served 18 months in San Quintin prison. Wikipedia says he was arrested again in 2010, for stealing antique maps. I wonder where he is now?


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