A look at why people steal books: love of the book or author, profit or prestige of owning a collection. For unrepentant book thief John Gilkey steals to accumulate a collection to prove he is a “gentleman” because in his deluded mind it’s only fair – if he wants it the world should give it to him. The world including individuals, libraries and book sellers that he sees as keeping him from what is rightly his.
Almost as obsessive is Ken Sanders who is driven to catch him and has helped connect book dealers to alert each other about book thiefs and their methods. The author Allison Bartlett talks to both dealers including Sanders and interviews Gilkey trying to understand what makes some people stop at nothing to posses the titles they love even after jail time.