I'm an admitted book geek and I understand, truly, how odd my love of books is to the great majority of the world. But I own my geekiness. One of 'odd shelves' of books is true stuff--and specifically, true crime related to books and other art.
So I was very happy to find a copy of "The Man Who Loved Books Too Much" by Allison Hoover Bartlett waiting for me at the store yesterday. The book doesn't officially come out until September 2009 and I'm only twenty-five pages in so it's way too early to know if it's good yet. But I was struck by one of the epigrams.
"For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner...let him be struck with palsy, & all his members blasted...Let bookworms gnaw his entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not, & when at last he goeth to his final punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him forever."--Anathema in a medieval manuscript from the Monastery of San Pedro in Barcelona.
Now, I'm all for serious punishment for serious crime and whatnot--but that is some serious venom coming from those monks. Just another reminder not mess with religious orders or theft.