Thursday, 18 February 2010

Kate's Reading Challenge 2010: Book Five

No.5. 'The Man Who Loved Books Too Much' by Allison Hoover Bartlett
(Riverhead Books, 2009)

My first non-fiction read of the year was this biography of shameless book thief John Gilkey, who drove many a rare book dealer to distraction with his love for books that he couldn't afford. As such Gilkey saw it as his right to take the titles he so dearly wanted from book fairs, and dealers across America.

Hot on Gilkey's trail was Ken Sanders, a rare book dealer, turned 'Bibliodick', outraged by the continual thieving enchroaching upon his trade and in good old fashioned cat and mouse style American journalist Allison Hoover Bartlett follows both men and documents their stories.

It has to be said Hoover Bartlett gets in a bit too deep, and remains a little too impartial for my liking. Despite having clear opinons about Gilkey and his actions she never voices these or contends his actions.

Yet this is a really fascinating story and in particular the exploration of what leads people to collect books (be it legally or illegally) is thoughtfully explored.

Started: February 9th Finished: February 12th

1 comment:

Helena Halme said...

There are a couple of Finnish books I can recommend for your 2010 read-a-thon to your previous post. Apologies for the sp mistakes, my house is being refurbed and the drilling is cutting right through my brain. Lame excuse I know.