Saturday, July 02, 2005

BEAT IT

Among the signs you’re living in a college town: Your local bookseller, in this case the Harvard Book Store in Harvard Square, posts the above sign, to “Please Ask at the Desk for Works by Charles Bukowski, William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac.” The cause is just as one would expect, shoplifting, an employee confirmed. For some reason, books by these authors just seem to disappear when left out ... like porn near a junior high.

12 comments:

wrecking_ball said...

Yeah, it's part of the culture among fans of those writers to steal the books. We have to replace them regularly in library-land. And although I understand the spirit of it, I still have a hard time getting how they think it's going to help others come to appreciate these authors' works. Unless they don't *want* anybody new becoming fans, which doesn't make much sense.

Michael Scott Moore said...

Must help sales, though. A library or bookstore can't go around not stocking Beat writers, so whatever gets stolen must also be replaced. Clever.

Scape7 said...

I guess I'm missing it, though, being familiar only with Burroughs' writing. Is there something in these texts that seems to recommend the thefts? Some sort of meme among the Bukowski/Burroughs/Kerouac cognoscenti? In other words, are even shoppers who could borrow or who can afford to buy the books stealing them instead because that's what they're supposed to do?

eric said...

Or maybe they are just required reading for a few hundred students and a percentage of those students "lift" them rather than pay for them...?

Scape7 said...

Possible — I'll check other local bookstores, including the Harvard Coop. At the moment, I have to assume there's a bunch of people running around having the following conversation:

"I'm bored. What should we do?"

"Wanna go to Harvard and steal some Bukowski?"

wrecking_ball said...

This might be of interest...

eric said...

Huh.

I can honestly say I never thought about checking a bible out of the library.

Scape7 said...

Great link, Wrecking Ball. Do I owe the debt of gratitude to you as a blogger, though, or librarian?

Perhaps as a blogarian.

Brian Wanamaker said...

"Wanna go to Harvard and steal some Bukowski?"

"Let's go get sushi... and not pay."

Scape7 said...

There's some good sushi in Harvard Square, too, These people could make a night of it.

wrecking_ball said...

Blogger, librarian, bloggarian? I prefer to think of myself as a bliger -- we're bred for our skills in magic.

On the Media is also now available as a podcast, for those with a pod.

Anonymous said...

This is Carl; It wants me to "log in" and get a "password" in order for me to post under a username.

I don't care for that.

"On the Media", Marc, is that Sunday show on WBUR I keep nagging you to check out, only you keep not because you hate America or something. It's in complete harmony with your media-critic weltaunschaung.