This is a true account about a book thief who stole rare books and instead of feeling remorse or guilty, he continues thinking that he deserves to have free rare books, and in fact, thinks that his request for everyone to donate a book to him is reasonable.
I found it fascinating, because although I’ve always loved and collected books, I never had any interest in first editions, hardbacks, or rare books.
Mostly I think it’s because I don’t think I have the ability to take care of them the way they need to be, and I would certainly feel heartbroken if I had a priceless book in my care that ended up damaged because of the way I kept or handled it.
I did consider myself a book collector though, but now I wonder if I was right. You see, back in Malaysia, our libraries suck, and the only way I could get books was by acquiring them somehow, from bookstores, or used book stores, or people giving away their old books, etc. And I collected as many books as I could because I read a lot!
Now that I’m in Calgary, and have access to millions of books from the public library, I’m perfectly happy to borrow and not acquire at all. I realize that it’s not the books, but the contents, that’s important to me. So I’m not a book collector after all! There goes my life’s identity!
Fortunately, I’m still a reader, and this part of my identity will never change.
The Man Who Loved Books Too Much will get you thinking about your own relationship with books. I recommend it to everyone who’s ever had books play an important role in their lives.
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