Thursday, August 26, 2010
The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett
45. The Man Who Loved Books Too Much
by Allison Hoover Bartlett
unabridged audio read by Judith Brackley
I expected to like this book more than I did. I'm sure it is a big hit among book lovers, but I thought it quite weird and sad. Part of it is the subject matter, but also I was uncomfortable with the writer and how she went about her work. When I finished I found myself thinking how Truman Capote got caught up in the In Cold Blood story. He formed a relationship with the killers, as Allison Hoover Bartlett did with the criminal, John Charles Gilkey, the man who stole expensive rare books.
There is an early article by the author on the subject here.
I have a really hard time understanding someone who, 1. steals anything and 2. steals books he doesn't love or even read. I know the book has gotten raves, but the subject matter just isn't for me. It was troubling to me that the guy got the idea from reading John Dunning's Cliff Janeway series.
Although I do feel it is important to preserve old books, I found the whole world of antiquarian bookselling to be most unappealing. And I don't get 'manias' period. And I am not a collector of anything. And I don't care if what I read is a first edition or signed or mine or from the library. So, you may ask, why did she finish the book. And I can't tell you the answer.