Julie's Reviews > The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett
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's review
Jun 25, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010, non-fiction, from-library, true-crime
Recommended for: bibliophiles and bibliomaniacs
Read from June 24 to 25, 2010 , read count: 1

This book is a fascinating look at the exploits of John Charles Gilkey, book thief extraordinaire. The man stole hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of rare books (first editions and the like) over the course of several years, and he certainly shows no remorse. Bartlett's insights into Gilkey's mindset and mentality are really interesting. I was repeatedly shocked at Gilkey's sense of entitlement, selfishness and greed. I'm not sure he actually understands he is doing anything wrong - he is THAT good at rationalizing it all.

It's a compelling tale and Bartlett writes it in a very smooth, elegant manner. I'd recommend it to anyone who loves books (but hopefully not too much) or crime stories.

Thankfully I have discovered that I am firmly in between bibilophile and bibliomaniac. I have too many books, but I do actually read them, don't spend thousands on one book, and don't steal them, no matter how much I love a good bargain! (Hmm, now I'm the one rationalizing...)

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