by - November 26, 2014

The true story of a thief, a detective and a world full of literary obsession.

This book might just be one of my favourite books I've ever read. It tells the unraveling story of John Charles Gilkey (the man who loved books too much and stole them) and Ken Sanders (the man who loved books too much and tried -and succeeded- to catch the thief). The story's been written out of the writer's perspective and the accumulation of information she discovers during her investigation.

The writer -Allison Hoover Bartlett- is a journalist who's written articles for the New York Times, The Washington Post and other big names. She origanally reported on this story back in the day and was that fascinated by it that she wrote this book. And it's a good job she did! The story is absolutely extrordinary, almost mind blowing...

This book basically reads like a BBC documentary. The chapters are short, relevant and they make you want to get on exploring. I think she's build it up very good and she makes the reader (or atleast me) think deeper about the subject and makes you (me) long for more written words. It gives you food for thought and questions for instance the meaning behind the creation of a collection. Why do we collect things? And most importantly how do we collect things? The storytelling rotates within chapters between the investigation, the conversations she had with Gilkey and her own vision on both matters (giving you a wider perception of the story and the world it lives in. Because if there's one thing you learn from this book, it's a whole different world!).

Besides describing the facts, she takes you further into the world and gives you a glimpse from how it's formed (the roles that one can play in the branche of books). It just makes you want to discover more, get into their world and hopefully get a glimpse of their minds.

Now, normally I'm totally not into true stories (there's nothing that scares me more than truer than true), but I've made an exception for this one because it's just so remarkable and, well, special. And I'm glad I did! This story is one that you won't forget in a long time. It makes you in a somewhat inattentional way aware of your own collecting habits. And just to be clear: this isn't just some printed words on paper with just data data data. No, in a way it's quite light hearted while at the same time being very thoroughgoing. It's full with suspense, mystery and humour.

What would you do for the love of a good book?


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