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 AmisPaul AusterGeorges BatailleWilliam S. Burroughs,Italo CalvinoRaymond ChandlerMichel FoucaultDashiell HammettJack KerouacJeanette 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 ThompsonPhilip 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 PalahniukHaruki Murakami, and Mark Z. Danielewski, and the most-stolen books tend to be a steady group with little variation over time.

In the United Kingdom, The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides was the most-shoplifted book, according to a January 2008 article in The Telegraph.

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.