Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Bible--Most Stolen Book?

A reader just emailed me asking about my comment on The Bible being the most stolen book. In my bookstore experience, this is true. We have copies go MIA every week. Not sure if there's any hard data to back it up, but it's a well-discussed anomaly in the book industry.

Why could this be the case? Lots of people read it or want to, and perhaps they feel justified in stealing something they think should be accessible to everyone for free. Just a guess.

Other books that go missing quite regularly where I work? Anything by Kurt Vonnegut. And most of the fiction classics. Methinks many High School students either can't afford to buy them for essays or have lost their library's copy and need to replace it.

And yes, the irony of a Bible reader stealing their own copy is not lost on me. Ten Commandments begone.

tall penguin

9 comments:

Paholaisen Asianajaja said...

Wow. Did not know that, and wouldn't ever guess it to be true.

arachnophilia said...

personally, i've always wanted a gideon copy, one of the ones placed in hotel rooms. i'm not sure it's stealing -- maybe they want you to read it a bit, say "hmm, i'm interested in this jesus fellow" and take your copy home to learn more. but walking off with it sure seems like theft...

Ged said...

Yet another PZ fan dropping by - like what I'm reading so will come again.

I'm pretty sure it would make their day to think you liked their book enough to steal it - they have to take what they can get these days...drgys

The Lorax said...

Actually not a bad idea to steal a bible, I mean if you're going to steal that is.

Step 1. Steal bible.
Step 2. Pray for forgiveness
Step 3. Keep bible, no guilt, hope cops dont have a video recording of you lifting said book.

Anonymous said...

Based on recent revelations, doesn't it seem likely that the bible stealers are actually from the rabid atheist brigades, as opposed to Christians?

Paul said...

Not sure I can imagine a scenario in which an Atheist would steal a Bible. Perhaps Coward - I mean Anonymous - could enlighten us as to why he or she would suggest that.

I'm another one of those "Pharygulites" who have found a new and interesting blog to read. Started at your first entry earlier today, and got through all of 2006 and most of 2007. I've added you to my feed aggregator.
-Paul

M said...

The Bibles are being raptured away, one by one.

Miriam said...

I work at Half Price Books down in Houston, TX, and the Bible is one of our most frequently stolen books. The neighborhood in which the store is located has at least ten churches, three religious schools (two Catholic, one Greek Orthodox), and a shelter for homeless teens run by a religious organization, not to mention the priests and nuns who live in the area and teach at those schools. Go figure.

I found your blog via Pharygnula, by the way. The Bible shenanigans piqued my interest.

AlienEeeter said...

over half of all prison inmates (actually I think it's around 80%) believe in god. Makes sense that the bible is the most stolen book, if that be the case.