The Book Thief: The True Crimes of Daniel Spiegelman

I was at a library conference this last weekend and I attended a talk by Travis McDade who is the author of The Book Thief: The True Crimes of Daniel Spiegelman. (Link is to the author's website) You may have heard of this book through a mention on BookTV. CSPAN ran a piece about the book. The book is about Daniel Spiegelman who stole $18 million of rare books and letters from Columbia U.'s library in the spring of 1994.

The author of the book is a librarian so purchasing the book will help a fellow member of the profession. In his talk the author mentioned that he was not happy with the price that the publisher put on the book. ($49) Libraries may have been the target market for the book so the price might have been set for that market. The talk the author gave was very interesting. Librarians in the room that had read the book said that they enjoyed it. If your library does not have this book you might want to consider getting a copy.

The author has a blog that you can see here.


The author of "The Book Thief: The True Crimes of Daniel Spiegelman" is teaching a class at the University of Illinois called "Rare Books, Crime & Punishment".

At the author's website if you click on the picture of the book in the upper right hand corner of the page you are taken to a place where you can buy the book. Just wanted to point this out because the website does not have a "buy the book" button.

Article in the New York Times about the sentencing of Spiegelman.

You can see excerpts of the book at Google Books.

The library community needs to post the photographs of these national and internationally convicted book and map theives so all librarians can be familiar with these people. They dwell in a bland world where they aren't known, and aren;t recognized, and many of their thefts are not recognized for many years afterwards.
ALA or other large organizations needs a "Beware of These" page online of convicted theives, who eschew being photographed. As McRuff says, "Shady guys avoid the light."

R. Lee Hadden (These are my own opinions!)

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