There’s an underground economy of boosted books. These values are commonly understood and roundly agreed upon through word of mouth, and the values always seem to be true. Once, a scruffy, large man approached me, holding a folded-up piece of paper. “Do you have any Buck?” He paused and looked at the piece of paper. “Any books by Buckorsick?” I suspected that he meant Bukowski, but I played dumb, and asked to see the piece of paper he was holding. It was written in crisp handwriting that clearly didn’t belong to him, and it read:
1. Charles Bukowski
2. Jim Thompson
3. Philip K. Dick
4. William S. Burroughs
5. Any Graphic Novel
This is pretty much the authoritative top five, the New York Times best-seller list of stolen books. Its origins still mystify me..
I asked the man whether he preferred Bukowski’s Pulp to his Women, as I did, and whether his favorite Thompson book was The Getaway or The Killer Inside Me. First the book chatter made him nervous, but then it made him angry…
Continue reading Flying Off the Shelves by Paul Constant | via The Stranger
Any booksellers reading this? I’m curious about the how the lists might compare from store to store, city to city… Not surprised Buk is at the top of this one, however. But where is Hoffman? Surprising omission.