Book Review: The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

Is it possible to love books too much? Writer Allison Hoover Bartlett thinks so, given the reaction she often gets to her new book, The Man Who Loved Books Too Much.

"I can't tell you how many people have picked up the book and read the title and said, 'Huh! That's me,' " Bartlett says.

"Some people care so deeply about books," she adds, "they're willing to do just about anything to get their hands on the books that they love."
The book tells the story of the light-fingered bibliophile John Gilkey, and how antiquarian bookseller, Ken Sanders tracked, identified and exposed the thief. Story from NPR.


I haven't seen the book, but I hope it has a large mug shot of the crook. Far too often these people are discussed in detail, but seldom are their photos published so other librarians can see if they may have raided their library. These people thrive on being anonymous.

A good book to publish, or a good master's thesis, is to tell the stories of the numerous book and map theives of the last fifteen years or so, and to publish their photos.

For the younger crowd, OCLC did a VHS tape in 1990 about how the FBI used OCLC to track down the owners of rare books stolen during the 1980s. Well worth viewing. The title is "The Omaha Project- A Rare Book Adventure." Abstract: "Four OCLC staff members and 40 volunteers use the OCLC database to help the FBI inventory more than 20,000 stolen rare books and manuscripts allegedly stolen by Stephen C. Blumberg and help locate their possible owners." The OCLC Number: 22298369; 78119122.