Thursday, February 23, 2006

Curse Against Book Stealers

There are those rare, serendipitous times when something or someone comes to you from out of the blue and BINGO. Your life is suddenly enriched and never quite the same again. The chance of this happening in the Blogger World has multiplied exponentially for me, it seems, in the last few months. You know who you are. We've become such a nice MAS (Mutual Admiration Society).

Hannover sidewalk shop, 2005

So, here's a new introduction: DreamWalker (aka Waking Wolf) from Auckland, New Zealand, originally from Cape Town, South Africa. She found me first by simply clicking "the next blog." And now I'm finding her, having added her blog, The Art of Losing, to my sidebar. Anyone who is an Extreme Searcher is right up my alley!

Okay then. Here's where the Book Stealers come in. She works in the local library and sent me this most wonderful quote and gave me permission to use it here on my blog:

"For him that stealeth a Book from this Library,
let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him.
Let him be struck with Palsy, and all his Members blasted.
Let him languish in Pain crying aloud for Mercy and let there be no sur-cease to his Agony till he sink in Dissolution.
Let Bookworms gnaw his Entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not, and when at last he goeth to his final Punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him for ever and aye."
— Curse Against Book Stealers
Monastery of San Pedro, Barcelona

As curses go, can you get any better than that?! Clo, our Antique Bookseller, will like that. As will all you avid book readers.

Now segue to a new concept for all us book readers. BookCrossing:
n. the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise. How cool is that! Kinda gives book stealers a new lease on life, right! Hmm. I'll have to seriously think about that concept. I think it's a good one...if I can find the right context for me as a retired woman....


  1. First of all, this is a great photo Ginnie. Colourful and well-composed. And the topic is very special to me. Books! They are such an integral part of my life.

    I have taken part in the past in the Book Crossings thing -- a delightful idea (especially since I am absolutely not a book-collector).

    I am off to Winnipeg's big new library today -- I'll report back on this adventure :-)

  2. I love the pic! I miss the books shops in Basel the most, used and otherwise. Books here in Canada are very pricey. I think even more than in Switzerland. I'm hoping to get to one today actually. Coincidence?

  3. PG: Actually, come to think of it, I may have first heard about BookCrossing from you! I KNOW you'll delight with having a library close by with books in English. Hurray!

    Expat: Ha, coincidence indeed! What would we do without books!!

  4. I've noticed that about Canada. Whenever I buy a book the Canadian price is MUCH higher than the US price.

  5. Ginnie, thanks for this post. I loved the picture. And that was quite a curse against book stealers - probably containing the sentiments of many a librarian and those of us like me who have sometimes gone to a historical library to only find out that what I want is missing/gone from the shelves.

  6. Mr. Fab: Now that you say it, you're right. Wonder why?

    Tim: Indeed!

  7. Aaaaaaaaaaah! So much to say, again! I'll try to be concise (me, concise, ha! ha! funny!).

    Love that pic! But seeing those and not being able to go IN the pic is very frustating for me!

    My god that curse looks terrible! Specially when the bookworms gnaw the entrails... yeeeeeech! The Librarian of San Pedro's Monastery must have been very shocked by the stealing of his books! Reminds me of "The Name of The Rose" by Eco (you're not surprise to know this is one of my favorite, aren't you?).

    Argh! The feeling to discover somebody had stoolen a book in your bookshop! At the beginning, in the 90's, I could be angry for a week! Then, one day, there was those four women who came and one stole a Lilliput French/Sweedish dictionary I had put at $2!!!!!!!!!! When I realize that, they were just on the other side of the street. Suddenly, I felt all the ridiculous of running outside for that tiny thing. And it was kind of funny because it was French/Sweedish and she was american and not the kind to learn langages.

    I'm not saying that I accept the fact that someone stole a book in my bookshop. But I just dicover that if somebody come in with the intention to steal, he will do it whatever your good at checking. Fortunately, stealers are the minority.

    The Canadian prices you see printed on the book is higher because of the exchange, no? And the price of books printed here depend of the quantity of books printed, wich is much lower here in Canada.

    Wow, I think this one is my longest comment! Can you picture me on the phone?... :O)

  8. Clo, you and I were made from the same fabric, so there's no such thing as "too long." HA. I love your stories--enough for a book, I'm sure, which hopefully no one would steal. But if they did, you'd have good feelings about knowing someone really wanted it :)

    On the phone? I can just imagine it!

  9. I love books and cherish them. Going back to your last post, I need more TIME. I miss reading books, I love blogging, reading blogs, want to encounter more... Do I have to give up my job?? But I love that too. why do we have to sleep!!?? There's so much to be discovered! *sigh*

  10. OMG! Orange has just put on the DVD of El Divo in concert. Gotta go!

  11. CS, you are a hoot! All your questions about Time make me realize we're probably made for Timelessness (Eternity)! In the meantime, we just dance as fast as we can :)

  12. Thanks for that introduction Ginnie. We don't treat book thieves quite as harshly as that quote implies :))

  13. You're welcome, DW, and glad to hear it :)