There’s No Thief Like a Bookthief

If you’re a book lover, then you must have done this at least once in your life: book pilfering. The typical scenario goes like this: you see a book you’ve always wanted to read or own in a friend’s house on her bookshelf which you couldn’t find anywhere for nuts previously. Of course you don’t steal the book right under their noses. Instead, you ask them, ever so politely, if you could borrow said book. Maybe before asking, you throw in effusive, gushing compliments about their impeccable literary taste or the wonderful quality of the bookshelf before pretending to see that desirable book and exclaiming, “Oh my God, you have this book? I’ve been searching for it for the longest time!”

Then of course the book will be loaned to you. You take that precious, precious piece of work home, then devour it hungrily like a book-starved scholar back from the desert island. The book is all over too soon, and you’ve promised to return it once you are done with it.

So you make up little white lies. How you were so busy lately and couldn’t find time to pick up the book. Then slowly, slowly, the owner forgets that the book is in your hands, lulled into trust by your convincing tones of reassurance to return it and don’t worry, you won’t forget.

Suddenly, before you know it, the book owner has shifted, or changed her job, and you don’t see her anymore. Now you are a bookthief.

And isn’t it wonderful? Now you finally have that book you’ve always wanted!


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