The Most Stolen Library Books

According to MainStreet, by Jeanine Skowronski:

MainStreet was determined to find out whether or not our preconceived notions on library theft were actually true. (I pictured a hapless thief stealing a heavy Encyclopedia Britannica, while my editor thought everyone wanted The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.)

MainStreet talked to librarians, who filled us in on which books frequently go missing.

Many of these are not specific titles, but areas or genres...

Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition
Runner up: "'Anything by Zane is gone in a flash,' [says] librarian Ingrid Abrams."

I agree with Zane. I think 95% are missing in our library. But surprisingly, a lot of our sex instruction books are still on the shelves. Although I haven't checked to see if the illustrations have been removed. But I know for a fact that the illustration for the "male hare and female elephant road to passion" has been razored out of the Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana because it's in my wallet.

Art Books
"According to Jean Dickson, a reference librarian for Lockwood Library at the University
at Buffalo, [books with nudes] are often stolen, mistreated or abused."

Test Prep Books

And it's impossible to find an ASVAB book in our library or anything on Nursing.

Non-Circulating/Out-of-Print Reference Books
"Cynthia Gregory, a librarian at Alice & Jack Wirt Public Library in Bay City, Mich., tells MainStreet that her library’s most stolen book is, hands down, The Michigan Divorce Manual, a do-it-yourself
divorce kit with filing papers."

In our library, anything with legal forms is either mutilated or stolen outright. And don't ever expect to find the CD if it contains forms.

School Reading
Books on "required reading lists 'are usually among the missing,' such as David Pelzer’s 'A Child Called It.'"

And we've probably gone through 100 Catcher in the Ryes.

Pop Novels
Books on "contemporary pop culture icons tend to disappear."

Especially non-fiction titles for celebrities. We could never keep a Selena book. Or Michael Jackson. It's hard to tell what goes missing because it's often stolen before it ever circulates. I'm sure we bought Lady Gaga books, but I've never seen any on the shelves.

Books on Paranormal Activity
"Librarians note visitors are apt to steal books that deal with taboo, arcane or controversial subject matter. But while witchcraft, astrology, abortion, Islam, UFOs and Nazi-era material were among the topics cited in our informal survey, the genre dominating responses the most were books about paranormal activity."

Our witchcraft books get picked clean pretty often. And our UFO books used to get hit bad.

I began a list as soon as I saw the title of this story, but everything I had on it is included here: urban fiction, wicca, the Biography of Malcolm X, dream dictionaries, GED books, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, The Art of War, any books on mysticism or the occult, and books about current popular celebrities. The only thing not mentioned is graphic novels or manga.

So, how does this list stack up against what you've stolen from your library?

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