Local bookseller selling stolen goods?

Steffers writes "The Nashville Scene is reporting that over the course of their 3-month investigation a local bookseller bought, sold, and requested stolen materials. Other booksellers have found stolen merchandise at this particular store, but all would like to give this store owner the benefit of the doubt. However, the pattern that emerges is disturbing to say the least. I know that when we had some civil war books stolen from here they were found (all markings, barcodes intact) on the shelves of this store."


Much as I like to put some faith in people, there comes a time when the evidence mounts beyond any doubt. If one keeps finding books in a bookstore with all the markings, barcodes, and the like intact; then there's no choice there but to charge the owner with accepting stolen goods. Depending on circumstances, one might be able to file other charges. However he'd have a hard time fighting the charge of accepting stolen goods since all the library markings are present.

I'm sure most libraries are like mine where, when an item is sold or surplused, the markings are removed or destroyed and stamped "no longer property of..." If those markings aren't present, then it's theft.

I don't doubt that there's something worthy of suspicion in this case. However, I DO buy and sell used books for something between a hobby and a living right now, with much of my inventory coming from libraries and friends groups.

Often, there is a supplemental marking: "no longer property of...", "From the collection of the friends of...", or just plain "discarded", but this is inconsistent. Some books apparently just missed a step in the prep for the friends sale. But in many cases, the fresh ink of the stamp just doesn't take to the slick surfaces of either the (intact) barcode, or the mylar wrap around the dust jacket. As I prep it for sale, I wipe the smearing ink off so that it doesn't de-value adjacent books. After that, it could easily be mistaken for stolen.

In fact, we have a few childrens books at home, that I'd picked up for my kids from a friends' sale, that my wife has either fretted over their being overdue, or actually tried to return them, only to discover that it was a weeded item. "and the cat came back the very next day..."

I worry occasionally that I might unknowingly buy some book that isn't legitimately weeded (either accidentally included, or woops, forgot to delete the circ record)

Subscribe to Comments for "Local bookseller selling stolen goods?"