August 24, 2011

Review: The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett 

About: Unrepentant book thief John Charles Gilkey has stolen a fortune in rare books from around the country. Yet unlike most thieves who steal for profit, Gilkey steals for love-the love of books. Perhaps equally obsessive 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 humor, Allison Hoover Bartlett plunges the reader deep into a rich world of fanatical book lust and considers what it is that makes some people stop at nothing to posses the titles they love. (from

Review: This one was designated for August in my small beginning book club. I started it on my way to Chicago and finished it only last week. It was a riveting book. One of my first non-fictions, I have to admit. The idea of the story enticed me, a man who loves books so much he steals them! Ken Sanders, a rare book collector who tries to serve him justice! (this was even more appealing because I literally live 2 blocks away from Ken Sanders Rare Books!). Basically this book was all I wanted from a non-fiction. The story was based from Allison's point of view. She began with interesting facts about this mysterious Gilkey man and her traveling to rare book conventions in New York City and San Francisco. I think I enjoyed more of the shadow Gilkey, one that no one was sure about, who he was. But once Bartlett met Gilkey and started being more involved in his life, I started not to like Gilkey. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book a lot, but Gilkey's character got less and less interesting to me. Bartlett made him more cocky, arrogant and in my opinion annoying. Over all I enjoyed Bartlett's references to the past. There were little stories of Italian, Spanish, Noble Men, Monks, all types of people in history who love books. Some would do anything to get their hands on books, even murder. It made me appreciate books more than I already do, it made me think of the previous owners, stories and lives of the old books I have. I absolutely loved this book. I bought it and so glad, so I can re read it whenever I would like.

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