Book Review - The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary ObsessionThe Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession by Allison Hoover Bartlett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It's a bit ironic that I have so much disinterest in true crime books and I read two non-fiction books about criminals in one week. This one was by choice, the other was a book club selection.

Bartlett develops a keen interest in to the life of rare-book thief, John Gilkey as well as the foibles of collectors and booksellers. Through a series of in and out of prison interviews with Gilkey and his family and many booksellers, especially Ken Sanders who's determined to capture book thieves, Bartlett develops her story. Its a tale of compulsive behavior by most of the characters, include Bartlett herself.

Gilkey is an interesting cat. Clearly sociopathic, he thinks building a vast library of rare books will establish his reputation as a learned man of means. The fact that he gets books through credit card fraud and outright theft that leads to periodic jail time is irrelevant.

This was an interesting read and chock full of book factoids as well as psychological studies.

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