"The Man Who Loved Books Too Much" – By Allison Hoover Bartlett

   The true story of a thief, a detective, and a world of literary obsession. When I saw the cover of this book, I knew I had to read it. It’s about the thief, Gilkey, who steals books to gain a reputation through them. (Confusing?) His perspective is that if he has great, rare, expensive books, he becomes someone great, rare, and expensive. Kind of like a guy who thinks he’s physically fit just because he bought the Bum Buster 2000.
    The story is also about Ken Sanders, who’s hot on Gilkey’s trail, setting up an e-mail system to spot thieves and warn others.

    My favorite part of this book was seeing how far someone would truly go for a book. I mean, I love books, don’t get me wrong. But I love the content, not the shelf life. I’ve bought many a book that looks like it’s been thrown up on, had ABC gum smeared on the cover, torn, water damaged, and one that didn’t even have a cover because it was ripped out somehow. (Yes, all these were also second hand.) But hey, if it’s a good read, it’s a good read. At ten cents or ten bucks. So I was introduced to this insane world of three digit and up prices for a book, and whoo. That’s a lot.

     Another thing that this book makes you think of is, “is that old classic grandma passed down to me really worth something?” You start wondering.

     Anyway, back to the book. I actually didn’t finish this one. (This wouldn’t be an honest critique if I didn’t tell you this.) It wasn’t because it wasn’t a good book. It was really interesting. I just felt like things were repeating themselves and becoming monotonous, like they do in real life. Gilkey would steal, yet another, book and feel like it was a piece of cake. And Sanders would get another complaint about a stolen book. My main question was: will Gilkey ever learn? Will he be set straight and understand how it’s wrong? What will become of him?

     So, I cheated. Yes, yes. Punish me if you must, but I flipped to the end to see what happened. I don’t suggest this — because it’s cheating. But in my defence, it was due at the library, and I didn’t want all that reading to be for nothing. I wanted to know how it ended. Even though I was a little taken back by the ending, I would still suggest this to those who are curious to how insane your love for a book can be.

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