noun \ˈbiblēəˌklept, -lēōˌ-\
: one who steals books
Have you ever wondered which books get stolen the most? Is there a pattern there or are they random? Well, good old wikipedia has an answer: Amis, Bukowski, Burroughs, Raymond Carver, Don DeLillo and Jack Kerouac are among the most stolen [sic] authors.
Ron Rosenbaum, an author and New York Observer columnist, wrote in 1999 that Barnes & Noble had a list of these authors whose books are the most frequently stolen from that book-store chain: Martin Amis, Paul Auster, Georges Bataille, William S. Burroughs,Italo Calvino, Raymond Chandler, Michel Foucault, Dashiell Hammett, Jack Kerouac, Jeanette Winterson, but none more frequently than books by Charles Bukowski.
In 2008, Constant gave this list, which he called “pretty much the authoritative top five, the New York Times best-seller list of stolen books”: Bukowski, Jim Thompson, Philip K. Dick, and Burroughs, along with “any graphic novel”. Constant wrote that other popular targets are books by Hunter S. Thompson and the Beats, Chuck Palahniuk, Haruki Murakami, and Mark Z. Danielewski, and the most-stolen books tend to be a steady group with little variation over time.
St. Mark’s Bookshop in the East Village of Manhattan, like Barnes & Noble, moves frequently-stolen titles behind the counter. At that book store, as of late 2009, the books behind the counter included works by Amis, Bukowski, Burroughs, Raymond Carver, Don DeLillo and Jack Kerouac.
“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.”
― Charles Bukowski
Here is a very different and strange list which includes a London A to Z, Lonely Planet Europe, Lenny McLean: The Guv’nor, Wall and Piece by Banksy and a cult s/m novel, Yolanda Celbridge’s The Taming of Trudi. The list was provided by The Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green, London.
Bukowski, Burroughts, Amis and Auster feature also in Publisher’s Weekly list.
And get stolen in Manhattan, too!
Interestingly, public libraries report that the most stolen books are how-to books, the Bible, and anything to do with witchcraft, the occult, UFOs, or astrology.