How Can One Love Books Too Much?

Literacy and Me

Last week I began a library book I had requested in an effort to start reading “Books about Books,” inspired by a list published by Random House. In the story, John Gilkey, a con artist and professional thief loved books (especially antiquated ones) so much he couldn’t help himself and was driven to steal and own them. Allison Hoover Bartlett, hearing about this criminal, decided to interview Gilkey and Ken Sanders, a man whose life’s wish was to outsmart Gilkey, track him down, and arrest him. It is a fascinating true narrative which reads as smoothly and interestingly as any novel. Here is the author’s description of how Gilkey’s passion became an obsession.

“Gilkey told me that when he holds a rare book, he smells its age, feels its crispness, makes sure there’s nothing wrong with it, and opens it up very gently. He thumbs through a few pages. If…

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