Saturday, November 18, 2006

Stolen books

"What kinds of things are sticky-fingered readers removing from [book] stores in late 2006?," asks Dwight Garner in the Sunday Times Book Review.

George S. Leibson, an owner of Coliseum Books in Manhattan, cites cookbooks and expensive art books, as well as books about sex. (“Some people are just too embarrassed to buy those.”) Paul Ingram, the buyer for Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City, observes that while science fiction is often said to vanish (“a lot of people who like it are 13 and have no money”), the sections with the most shrinkage in his store are simply those farthest from the cash register.

At a major independent bookstore in Seattle, the senior buyer said graphic novels, as well as books about the Beats and tattoos, disappear pretty often. He added, interestingly, that the enigmatic novels of the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami have begun to disappear at a fast clip. His explanation: “In his own way, Murakami is a subversive writer with an outlaw sensibility. His characters have this Everyman thing going on, but they are also working against the grain.”

Funny: there's no mention here of "the most shoplifted novelist in New York."

--Marshal Zeringue