“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Books And The Stealing Thereof

A nice little piece in the Times this morning, about books and the stealing thereof (possible chief culprit, pictured right). Quoth the Times-ish person:
Crime books are extremely popular. According to PLR records, James Patterson, who mostly writes cop thrillers, is the most borrowed author from libraries. And books about crime are also frequently stolen - hence the works of Martina Cole, a prolific crime writer, appear high on the list. Her books are also among those most read in prisons, and she claims to be perfectly happy to be a target for thieves: “I think it’s great, personally. If people want my books badly enough to go and steal them, it’s a compliment, really.”
  Nice one, Ms Cole. The Big Question: Have you ever stolen a book? Feel free to use the ‘anonymous’ button when leaving a comment …
  I have, by the way. Actually, I stole my very first Chandler novel. In that case, at least, you’d have to say the end justified the means. But feel free to flay me with your moral indignation.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

half inched Ian Rankins Westwind which was laying around my father-in-laws nursing home, photocopied the fucker at work and then flogged it for 35 quid on ebay..........still not read it yet

Dana King said...

I've never knowingly stolen a book, but a few borrowed books have unwittingly folowed me on moves. Hardly felonies; not even severe enough to qualify me for an Obama cabinet nomination (from which I would, of course, withdraw when the grisly truth came to light).

Gerard Brennan said...

Anon - Is that Colman?

Me? I'm saying nothing.

gb

Stuart Neville said...

I'm not sure it counts as theft, but I did borrow my uncle's copy of The Guitar Handbook by Ralph Denyer some time around 1986, and accidentally on purpose forgot to return it. I still have it now.

John McFetridge said...

In high school I had an early morning paper route. One morning I found a bag full of men's mags (Oui, Hustler, Juggs - the good stuff) and paperback "erotica." When I was finished with them, I sold then at school. When they ran out, I "acquired" some more and sold those.

When I got caught, the vice-principal said to me, "Shit, son, you'd make more money selling drugs," and expelled me.

maxine said...

Is that a picture of the wonderful Ms Donna Moore I see before me? I wonder if she will sue? ;-)

Declan Burke said...

Nice ... all ordinary decent criminals. And then McFetridge has to lower the tone. Blummin' typical ...

Cheers, Dec

JZID said...

I've photocopied books, and downloaded out of print ebooks, which I don't consider to be stealing. The worst thing I can think of and the thing I've felt guiltiest about is I've accidentally damaged a book and brought it back to the library hoping that they wouldn't notice! I hope my librarian doesn't read this blog!

Ali Karim said...

Thorney topic; I wouldn't exactly call it stealing but I once took a battered second-hand copy of a John Grisham novel from hospital bookshelf.

I had a long night ahead of me, is my plea -

Ali

norby said...

My mom is a librarian, there was no way I ever would have gotten away with stealing a book from the local library.

I did strongly consider keeping a book I had borrowed from my college library though-it was a very old copy of 'The Phantom Tollbooth'. It wasn't in the best condition, but it had writing in from the former owners and just intrigued me. In the end, the librarian's daughter won out and I returned the book.

My mom says that certain books just seem to more difficult to keep on the shelf, so to speak. Sometimes because they're popular, sometimes because people think they shouldn't be read...

Anonymous said...

I work in a public library.

Go ahead, punk.

Make my day.

col2910 said...

Mr Brennan, how low do you think I'd stoop?
A totally outrageous accusation.....or a fair cop?
Colman

Donna said...

Oh my goodness, I choked on my tea when I saw my ugly mug here. Good grief - what's WRONG with you man? Of course, it made it better that I was being portrayed as a serious book thief - it gives me an air of mystery and darkness. In reality, I have to admit, I've never stolen anything. I never even did the obligatory shoplifting of sherbert dib-dabs when I was a child.

I have to wonder whether the fact that Martina Cole is both one of the most stolen AND the most borrowed in prison libraries is linked. Maybe if they stole books called "How to Steal Books Without Getting Caught" they wouldn't need to borrow Martina Coles from prison libraries

And Maxine - I'm definitely suing :o)

Donna (aka snow White... on the book stealing front, anyway. On other fronts I may have drifted.)