"A house without books is like a room without windows." -Horace Mann

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

by Allison Hoover Bartlett

I felt it appropriate to start my recommendations off with a piece of nonfiction that delves into the world of literary obsession.  The title alone was enough to hook me and the story is fascinating.  It is the story of two men, both obsessed with literature, who go about feeding their passion in two very different ways. John Gilkey is a master book thief who simply views rare books as status symbols more than good reading material.  He believes he is simply a different kind of book "collector".  Ken Sanders is the man who goes after Gilkey with equal passion, and finally brings him to justice.

Who knew the world of rare books could be so exciting?! 

I loved the book because it talks about books, bookstores, rare books, book conventions, booksellers, personal libraries, etc.  It was fascinating to learn about a man that could so utterly convince himself that stealing books was not really a crime and that he deserved to own them, even if he couldn't afford them.  The details about rare book collecting were fascinating, as well as the ingenious techniques Gilkey used to steal books.  The story of Ken Sanders and the lengths to which he goes to catch Gilkey will keep you turning pages.  If you too have a literary obsession, read this book and find out if you are really as obsessed as you think.


  1. Do I sense a movie in this...? :-)

  2. Mr. A,
    Sounds tempting, no?! Ms. D approves.

  3. I might just have to check this book out… well, after I finish reading everything else on my current list.