Friday, September 28, 2012
shoplift lit list
in one of those long, convoluted series of clicks, i stumbled upon a rather old (1999! - so last century) article from the new york observer by ron rosenbaum. it's about which books reside in the shoplifting section of a barnes & noble in NYC - they're on a special shelf where you have to ask the cashiers for them, because they are stolen so often that it's a problem for the store. the article is clever and witty and you should go read it, especially since i'm not going to go into the whole thing here.
what i am going to go into is my own personal list of books that i consider so essential that i would risk the incredible stupidity that is shoplifting to own them. but only if, for some bizarre reason, i had no other choice. i should note that i am actually really opposed to shoplifting and think it's a lame and not very nice thing to do, so i am in no way advocating the shoplifting of these or any other book (or makeup or trinkets or hair thingies or socks or razor blades (which are apparently the most shop-lifted item) or anything else). and really, what with libraries, we should, in theory, never have to shoplift any books at all. however, i will still make the list. because i love lists. and since now i've been going on and on about it for this long...
~ charlotte's web by e.b. white. this classic has made countless children cry themselves to sleep.
~ little women by louisa may alcott. if i were one of the little women, i'd be jo (wouldn't we all?).
~ brothers karamazov by fyodor dostoevsky. i would not only shoplift this book, but if i was allowed only one book in the universe, ever again, 'til the end of my life, this would be the one. it has it all...god, the devil, patricide, crazy brothers, saintly brothers, intellectuals, philosophy, religion and the grand inquisitor.
~ the bean trees by barbara kingsolver. i read this for the first time when i was in macedonia and it transports me there in a good way. tho' the book has nothing whatsoever to do with macedonia.
~ murakami - pretty much anything he's written, tho' especially wind-up bird chronicle and hard-boiled wonderland and the end of the world.
it occurs to me that in a way, this is just a list of favorite books, but somehow, the shoplifting twist changes it a bit for me. it's not only favorites, but books you'd be willing to sacrifice yourself for, or encounter danger (sort of) for. books for which you'd take a risk. and that somehow seems different than mere favorites. tho' they are that as well.
what book(s) would make you turn to a life of crime?