Thieves Steal Children’s Books and, Apparently, More

Thieves stole 1,000 copies of a Chris Cander book that were stored in boxes in a storage unit in Houston, TX.

Cander was planning to donate them to a literacy charity.

A thief uses a flashlight to look in a window.

Also, I kid you not, the title of the books that were taken is, The Word Burglar. It’s the story of a boy who wants to learn to read so bad that he steals words.

We don’t know who took the books, or why, or if they even knew they were stealing a children’s book.

But the story caused me to wonder how often books are stolen. Turns out, people steal books more frequently than you might think.

In 2015, thieves made off with $2.5 million worth of antique books in London.

And a former archivist at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is accused of stealing $8 million in rare books.

Speaking of libraries, people took and didn’t return 70,144 books from Brooklyn Public Library branches in 2012.

The American Library Association says there isn’t a typical loss rate for libraries. Most states don’t track library losses, whether due to theft or other reasons.

In 2003, a thief was caught stealing 1,100 age-old books from a French monastery. It took a post-mortem confession for the Archbishop of Canterbury to learn what happened to dozens of its books.

Here a high school English teacher relays the books most frequently stolen from her classroom. And two Cambridge, MA, bookshop owners list the authors whose titles are most often stolen from their store.

The five authors? Charles Bukowski, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, and Kurt Vonnegut.

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