Gina Barreca writes in What Books Have You Stolen?:

I just finished reading Rachel Shteir’s The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting. (I came by it legitimately.)

Shteir tells a number of fascinating stories about stealing books, including one concerning a rare-book thief, Stephen Carrie Blumberg, who stole  23,000 volumes from archives and libraries—not to sell but to hoard them. His defense was apparently the only time the insanity defense was used in a theft case.

She quotes the literary journalist Nicholas Basbanes, who writes in his history of bibliomania, A Gentle Madness, that …bibliomania is “the only hobby, so far as I know, that is recognized in the DSM of the American Psychiatric Association as a bona fide disease…”

There…feel better now?

Mutts
by Patrick McDonnell

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