The Man Who Loved Books Too Much – Allison Hoover Bartlett

I read Allison Hoover Bartlett’s, The Man Who Loved Books Too Much for my love of books about books. Once I’ve entered the world of rare books, I have seen it more clear that it is a difficult world to get out and an even more difficult world to take place in.


The Man Who Loved Books Too Much - Allison Hoover Bartlett

In this interesting book, Bartlett has collected interviews and experiences of a real thief and a real detective. The thief is a man who is wholly devoted to books, thinks that he cannot live his life without them and so constantly steals them. The detective is a man who loves books equally but is committed to protecting them. Throughout the book, we see how the two watch each other, one chases and the other runs. In the meantime, we learn about many wonderful books and bookstores.

Also, the readers will see how things work in the world of rare books, and unfortunately, how easy theft can be done. These parts of the book are a joy to read, but the author continually intervenes and talks about her own moral values. To be honest, I found them quite boring. So I guess that if you skip these sections quickly, you will not lose a lot. I’d recommend this to the lover of books.

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much - Allison Hoover Bartlett

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

Unrepentant book thief John Charles Gilkey has stolen a fortune in rare books from around the US. Yet unlike most thieves who steal for profit, Gilkey steals for love – the love of books. Perhaps equally obsesssed is Ken Sanders, the self-appointed ‘bibliodick’ who’s driven to catch him. Following this eccentric cat-and-mouse chase with a mixture of suspense, insight and humour, Allison Hoover Bartlett plunges the reader into a a rich world of fanatical book lust and considers what it is that makes some people stop at nothing to possess the titles they love

Allison Hoover Bartlett

Allison Hoover Bartlett is the author of The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective. And a World of Literary Obsession. She has written on a variety of topics, including travel, art, science and education. For the New York Times, the Washington Post, San Francisco Magazine, and other publications. Her original article on book thief John Gilkey was include in the Best American Crime Reporting 2007. And the book was select for Barnes and Noble’s “Discover Great New Writers” program. Bartlett was named a San Francisco Library Laureate in 2010 and is a founding member of North 24th Writers. She and her husband have two children and live in San Francisco.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

A Non-Fiction a Month

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