Iranian bookstores host “The Man Who Loved Books Too Much”

April 3, 2021 - 19:11

TEHRAN – American writer Allison Hoover Bartlett’s national bestseller “The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession” has recently been published in Persian.

Saless is the publisher of the book translated into Persian by Mojtaba Veisi.

Set within the world of rare-book collecting: the true story of an infamous book thief, his victims, and the man determined to catch him.

Rare-book theft is even more widespread than fine-art theft. Most thieves, of course, steal for profit. John Charles Gilkey steals purely for the love of books. In an attempt to understand him better, journalist Allison Hoover Bartlett plunged herself into the world of book lust and discovered just how dangerous it can be.

John Gilkey is an obsessed, unrepentant book thief who has stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of rare books from book fairs, stores and libraries around the country. 

Ken Sanders is the self-appointed “bibliodick” (book dealer with a penchant for detective work) driven to catch him. 

Bartlett befriended both outlandish characters and found herself caught in the middle of efforts to recover hidden treasure. A cat-and-mouse chase that not only reveals exactly how Gilkey pulled off his dirtiest crimes, where he stashed the loot and how Sanders ultimately caught him, but also explores the romance of books, the lure to collect them and the temptation to steal them. 

Bartlett looks at the history of book passion, collection, and theft through the ages, to examine the craving that makes some people willing to stop at nothing to possess the books they love. 

Bartlett has written on a variety of topics, including travel, art, science and education, for the New York Times, the Washington Post, San Francisco Magazine and other publications. 

Her original article on book thief John Gilkey was included in the Best American Crime Reporting 2007, and the book was selected for Barnes and Noble’s “Discover Great New Writers” program. Bartlett was named a San Francisco Library Laureate in 2010 and is a founding member of North 24th Writers. 

She and her husband have two children and live in San Francisco.

Photo: Front cover of American writer Allison Hoover Bartlett’s book “The Man Who Loved Books Too Much”.


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