Uncategorized · writing

Life as a Book Thief


I am an inveterate book thief. I don’t steal from bookshops or libraries – I’m not a complete monster – but if a family member or a friend leaves a book unattended, I’ll pick it up and begin to read it.

When I was a child, this habit got me into all sorts of trouble. Stack of dad’s fantasy epics? I think I will. Box full of romance novels in the basement? Yes, please. My parents made sure that I was well aware of the fact that some, many, all of those books inappropriate for a grade school student. That didn’t stop me from reading them. It just meant that instead of coming home to find that I had hidden drugs or alcohol under my bed, they found books.

For a while, I was able to feed this urge in a healthy way. I worked for a library, after all. I could check out as many books as I wanted then return them I soon as I was finished reading them. Now that I work for a publisher, however, I find myself bringing book after book home to keep. Advanced copies, reprints, books for review, anything. Everything. And once I have a book, I struggle to get rid of it. How do you throw away somebody’s children?

If nothing else, I suppose this is a great excuse for me to invest in some fancy bookshelves. But be wary; if I ever come visit you, lock up your books. Otherwise, you might find me curled up with one of them.

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This article was originally published August 10, 2016.

27 thoughts on “Life as a Book Thief

  1. I cannot lie that as a bookworm I am also a hoarder of books. I come home from the library often with an arm load of books, convinced I’ll get to read them all. For years I have probably averaged about $75 dollars in late fees annually haha. I tell myself it’s my way of giving back to the community heehee.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. As a fellow bibliophile, I feel your pain. :> And I also love to see the rows of spines on my bookshelves.

    Speaking of which, thank you so much for following The Write Edge Bookshelf! I hope you find it interesting and informative. Would love to chat about books and publishing in general sometime. Have a great night and rest of the week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Full bookshelves are the best decoration. 😉 We definitely will have to talk some more. Making the jump from freelancer to publisher is a big one, but it seems like you are transitioning very successfully! Consider this a belated congratulation on founding Prairie Sky.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Kristen! Your encouragement and kind words really mean a lot to me. I’m sure there are probably a hundred more things I could learn, but, yes, founding Prairie Sky Publishing was a major step for me. Let’s definitely keep in touch!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re welcome to any of my books. That is, if you like writers like Dean Koontz, James Patterson, Robin Cook, James Rollins, and of course, J.K. Rowling. Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve always been a Harry potter fan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I promise I won’t tell anyone about your passion for Harry Potter.

      One of the things I’ve always appreciated about book lovers is the way that most of them want to share their books. It has certainly made my reading life easier!


  4. I’ve considered stealing out-of-print children’s books from my local library when my children were young. At the time the librarians didn’t seem to realize that these old books were selling for $500 on ebay and I REALLY wanted them, but I listened to the good angel on my right shoulder and returned the books on their due back date.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I did and do the same. It’s funny that what some constitute as naughty, others would probably say nerdy! Wow, I was such a good, quiet child! Nobody ever bloody appreciated it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was the same lol. My mother use to have a stack of books that she brought in her younger years and I’d just read them off one by one even some of them were rather inappropriate for me at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ha! This sounds very familiar…I’ve gotten so bad that if he’s reading next to me I’ll start reading over his shoulder which I keep TELLING him he finds cute- some day he’ll agree. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I understand the temptation. (Though I have to admit that some part of my brain can’t handle when people read over my shoulder. What if we read at different speeds? How will I know when to turn the page? So stressful.)

      Liked by 1 person

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