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Old 02 January 2010, 08:42 PM
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Icon104 Most-stolen book

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With the recession, shoplifting is on the rise, according to booksellers. At BookPeople in Austin, Tex., the rate of theft has increased to approximately one book per hour. I asked Steve Bercu, BookPeople’s owner, what the most frequently stolen title was.

“The Bible,” he said, without pausing.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/20/bo...ew/Rabb-t.html
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  #2  
Old 02 January 2010, 09:14 PM
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This library of temptation includes books by Martin Amis, Charles Bukowski, William S. Burroughs, Raymond Carver, Don DeLillo and Jack Kerouac, among others.
Martin Amis? Really?

Back when I worked book-retail, The NIV Bible in its various editions was certainly high on our list of stolen titles. I think Mein Kampf was second. Burroughs and Bukowski (*shudder*) were up there, as well. Then, of course, numerous titles from the astrology/magic section were lifted quite often.

ETA: At present, I imagine the Twilight series ranks very high.

Last edited by I'mNotDedalus; 02 January 2010 at 09:19 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02 January 2010, 10:09 PM
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Who would risk a fine larger than the price of a book to steal one? There are places which will lend you a book free of charge for the time it would reasonably take to read it. I think they are called libraries or something like that.
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  #4  
Old 02 January 2010, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
Who would risk a fine larger than the price of a book to steal one? There are places which will lend you a book free of charge for the time it would reasonably take to read it. I think they are called libraries or something like that.
To a large extent, the titles that topped the theft list in retail are the same titles that go missing on a regular basis at the library I currently work at.
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Old 02 January 2010, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
Who would risk a fine larger than the price of a book to steal one? There are places which will lend you a book free of charge for the time it would reasonably take to read it. I think they are called libraries or something like that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by I'mNotDedalus View Post
To a large extent, the titles that topped the theft list in retail are the same titles that go missing on a regular basis at the library I currently work at.
Not to mention that the legal consequences often times probably do not stop most cases of petty shoplifting. My experience says that people will commit the action if they are inclined to it and they think they can get away with it. The penalties don’t factor in much
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Old 02 January 2010, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by diddy View Post
My experience says that people will commit the action if they are inclined to it and they think they can get away with it. The penalties don’t factor in much
very few people commit a crime expecting to get caught.
But i agree with the whole why steal a book you can borrow for free at a library thing.
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  #7  
Old 02 January 2010, 11:11 PM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
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I think a lot of kids steal stuff to be cool, or on a dare, not so much because they want it. Stealing the bible probably adds an extra badass factor.

Personally, I never understood it, but I absolutely remember there was a time when a lot of kids were really into shoplifting small items. Shoplifting, specifically, not home burglary, robbery, or stealing from school lockers. Most of them were middle class kids who could afford to buy the stuff they were stealing, some of them just liked to pretend to be delinquents. They're the same kind of kids who'd light a cigarette, take maybe two puffs, then just hold it and let it burn, in a really public place, or hold a can or beer, and sip it, but at the end of an evening, not have drunk even half of it, but made sure everyone saw them with it.
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Old 02 January 2010, 11:19 PM
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When I worked in the mall, most of the shoplifters I encountered were middle-class kids who definitely had money to spend, as they would shop regularly at the very same stores they stole from. I really do think it's mostly a thrill and social thing for them, as the same girls who would drop $100 on an entire outfit were the same ones who would eventually get caught trying to pocket jewelry or nailpolish. No better way to prove how awesome you were to your girlfriends than to steal trinkets for them... ugh.
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Old 02 January 2010, 11:33 PM
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Considering the bible and all its versions is the most printed book in history, this is not surprising. The thing that gets me, is that if you really want a copy and do not have the money. You can easily pick up a copy for really cheap or no money at all from a church. It may not be the version you are look for or have fanciest cover, but you do not need to steal it.
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  #10  
Old 02 January 2010, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singing in the Drizzle View Post
Considering the bible and all its versions is the most printed book in history, this is not surprising. The thing that gets me, is that if you really want a copy and do not have the money. You can easily pick up a copy for really cheap or no money at all from a church. It may not be the version you are look for or have fanciest cover, but you do not need to steal it.
This is why I'm going with the badass theory. I'm pretty sure lots of people would be thrilled to give you a bible.

Unless bibles "stolen" from hotels are in this statistic (which doesn't seem to be the case). I don't think the Gideons care if you steal them. In fact, I think they are quite happy to think that you have become a regular reader.
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  #11  
Old 03 January 2010, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
Who would risk a fine larger than the price of a book to steal one? There are places which will lend you a book free of charge for the time it would reasonably take to read it. I think they are called libraries or something like that.
But that presupposes the thief's primary motivation in stealing the book is to read it, which I would bet is often not the case.
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  #12  
Old 03 January 2010, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
Who would risk a fine larger than the price of a book to steal one? There are places which will lend you a book free of charge for the time it would reasonably take to read it. I think they are called libraries or something like that.


Umm, yeah but surpringly ( or maybe not) we have just as bad of a problem with people stealing books from our libraries as the bookstores do. I work in a library and there are so many books that our computers say we have but simply are no where to be found. High on the list of MIA books are books on teen pregnancy ( no doubt stolen by pregnant teens who wish to remain anonymous), books about drugs, reference books ( which can't be checked out so they get stolen instead),cooking and gardening books and recently Michael Jackson books.

We also lend out DVD's (popular movies and such) and have to keep the actual DVD's behind the desk and have just the cases available for the public to look thru and bring to the desk to check out and get the actual DVD. I guess it is not-too-bright thieves who are stealing the cases not knowing that the actual DVDs are not given to patrons until they check them out.
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  #13  
Old 05 January 2010, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
I don't think the Gideons care if you steal them.
They don't - every Gideon Bible I've ever seen in a hotel room, has a statement on the first few pages to the effect of "if you don't have a Bible and want to take this one, please feel free to do so." [Not verbatim]
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  #14  
Old 10 January 2010, 04:59 PM
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I dunno how many hotel Bibles I've stolen, but damn, I still haven't found the money in any yet!
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  #15  
Old 10 January 2010, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rumorbuster View Post
They don't - every Gideon Bible I've ever seen in a hotel room, has a statement on the first few pages to the effect of "if you don't have a Bible and want to take this one, please feel free to do so." [Not verbatim]
I can confirm this - not to mention that the bible is freely available online as well. I would imagine that most (if not all) bible thefts are people who steal it because it’s the bible and they want to brag about it (I stole the Bible - double bad!) and not because they need to read it to get spiritual impact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrishDaDish View Post
I dunno how many hotel Bibles I've stolen, but damn, I still haven't found the money in any yet!
Try the Jefferson Bible - you might get lucky..
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  #16  
Old 11 January 2010, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by I'mNotDedalus View Post
Back when I worked book-retail, The NIV Bible in its various editions was certainly high on our list of stolen titles. I think Mein Kampf was second. Burroughs and Bukowski (*shudder*) were up there, as well. Then, of course, numerous titles from the astrology/magic section were lifted quite often
My experience mirrors this. What I always found odd was that sex books seldom got stolen-read, defaced, shelved in the kids section, and left open to the naughty pictures, but not often stolen. I guess you get in more trouble with your parents if you get caught with a stolen sex manual than a stolen Bible.

-RB
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  #17  
Old 11 January 2010, 01:06 AM
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When I worked in a bookstore the Bibles were right near the edge of the kids' section. I remember one day moving a cardboard display for Peeps coloring books/story books (yes, the marshmallow Peeps, they have their own merchandising now) and finding the empty shrinkwrap to 3 or 4 Bibles underneath it. There was something kind of funny about the wrappers being stashed under and Easter candy-related display.
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  #18  
Old 11 January 2010, 10:35 PM
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Curiously the manager at BookPeople, Austin TX has been quizzed on this before.

http://www.religionnewsblog.com/1320...n-commandments
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  #19  
Old 13 January 2010, 09:24 AM
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Not Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book? I'm surprised.
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  #20  
Old 13 January 2010, 10:44 AM
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I always heard - told for several different universities in Germany - that the libraries with the most theft were the ones of the law school and the theological department. I never checked, but always assumed it to be an UL based on the percieved bigoted-ness of legal professionals and "holy persons", respectivly.

Don Enrico
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