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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

curated: the honesty of book lovers…

Love it.

posted in:
easter eggs
  • bronxbee

    love it…though a committed bibliomaniac might…

  • amanohyo

    I was a bit of a kleptomaniac in my youth and stole dozens of books from the Berkeley Barnes and Noble in the early 2000’s, although I only took books that weren’t available at the library and always brought them back in mint condition when I was finished reading them. I guess you could say I borrowed them without permission for several months. I did the same thing with anime VCR tapes at Suncoast Video that weren’t available at Blockbuster or Movie Image.

    That’s one of the nice perks of being a friendly looking, clean cut asian – you can calmly walk out of a store through a beeping shoplifting scanner and most people will take one look at you and let you walk out of the door. I always scoped out the joint to see where all the cameras, security glass, and ceiling mirrors were and then bought a cheap item before leaving to allay suspicion. I would return the item for a refund a couple days later. Sometimes, I would walk up to the security guard and ask them where the bathroom was with a bag full of stolen goods. Believe it or not, it was kind of thrilling – I can understand why so many rebellious teenage girls do it for fun.

  • Danielm80

    Chris Riddell does all sorts of damage to his books, though I suspect he pays for them first.


  • althea

    A man after my own heart. I was never as ambitious as you, by a long shot, but had the same mentality. I know that thrill.

  • Bluejay

    I’m sure the authors appreciated your enjoying the fruits of their labor without the compensation they asked for.

    But who cares? Rebel = cool! Yay!

    (Also, VCR tapes degrade with each play. So, no, you weren’t returning them in mint condition.)

  • amanohyo

    That’s a good point – I remember removing shrink wrap from some of the tapes too, so I doubt the store was able to resell them. I did return and buy the few products that I enjoyed (similar to buying a ticket for a movie I hop to if I end up liking it). I remember buying an opened box set of Record of Lodoss War and Bubblegum Crisis to rescue them from the shelves afterward, but I was definitely in the wrong and cost Suncoast some money in the long run.

    The books I feel less guilty about. I would often sit and read novels by established authors in Barnes and Noble rather than buying them (I was unemployed at the time, not that that excuses my reprehensible behavior). You used to be able to return books within seven days for a full refund, but it sometimes took me longer than that to finish and I had (and have) a weird compulsion to finish every book I started. If my willpower was strong and the book was dull, I returned it to the shelf to continue reading the next day.

    The main draw of book thievery, other than the comfort of reading at home and not having to wait for the items to show up at the library, wasn’t really a feeling of being cool. Back then, watching anime and reading novels in one’s spare time was not the fast pass to popularity and admiration that it is today. The draw was the excitement and the humor of the situation.

    Who scopes out the camera locations in a store at the mall to steal a copy of The Lovely Bones or Excel Saga, reads/watches it, smuggles it back into the store months later to hide it on the shelf, then returns weeks later to buy it? The whole sequence of events is ludicrous. I did feel like a minor rebel, but I also got a kick out of how silly it all was. Anyway, you guys and gals are the only people who know, so I must still feel somewhat guilty about it. Please don’t turn me in… if anyone finds out my copy of Catch 22 is stolen, I’ll lose my security clearance.

  • Danielm80

    Have you discussed these issues with your therapist?

  • amanohyo

    Like a lot of people, I tend to use the internet as my therapist. It doesn’t work very well and it wastes a lot of time, but you can’t beat that price. Your point is a good one though – I definitely have a problem with oversharing. It runs in the family. Other than the general feelings of self-centeredness and megalomania that accompany an asocial life, I feel as though one important impetus for my transgressions is a frustration with the arbitrary and all-encompassing nature of socially defined systems of rules concerning private property, specifically the idea of intellectual property as a private possession which I understand on an intellectual level, but not emotionally… although Patreon and similar sites have done a lot to restore the emotional connection between creators and the commercial form of their content. Doh, I’m doing it again.

  • amanohyo

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