I’ve always been a book thief. Growing up in daycare, me and this other kid would ride our bikes to the library all the time.
Libraries are socialist institutions where people read books they didn’t pay for, because somehow that’s okay, when it’s done in this special venue.
It was a real nice one. A Carnegie library. Many times I just grabbed the books I liked and walked down the stares and out the door with them. No one ever said anything about it.
I always returned them when I was finished, but I’ve never had much tolerance for standing in lines or having to do anything just because someone else told me.
Starting in first grade, me and another friend would go to the grocery store to read all the magazines there. Especially National Lampoon.
Sometimes we bought something, but lots of times we didn’t and read them for free. One day I figured out I could get Playboys and other magazines even at my young age by just concealing them on my person and brazenly walking out the door with them.
I did this many dozens of times over the years, and never thought much of it. No one else was especially impressed or concerned about it either. I guess things weren’t so tight then, and these losses weren’t a big issue to anyone.
A few years later I started going to the University library. There I read all kinds of things from all over the world. And never paid a dime.
Eventually there were computer terminals put in, and I found all kinds of free stuff on those. And used them for free to teach myself Unix and then to explore other computers with the terminal.
I came to think of the whole world as my library. I’ve never felt it rude to ask anything of anyone. If left alone and knew I wouldn’t be caught. I’d read whatever I wanted in anyone’s home. In this way, it came to pass I knew all kinds of things no one else knew.
Once the internet came into being, I went all out and learned all kinds of ways to access all kinds of data whether for public consumption or not.
I never did anything that harmed anyone as far as I know. But I never much concerned myself one way or another with what they would have said or done about it, had they known.
I just made the whole world my library and continue to do so. As long as there is no threat of violence or confrontation, I’ll continue to take anything I like.
I suppose this sort of attitude makes me a kleptoholic. Since it’s something I want or need, and it is conflict with sane legal behavior as most people understand things. Sane meaning in compliance with society’s customs and mores.
I admit to myself I choose to remain powerless over kleptohol—that my life becomes less than I’d like it without accessing all the information I desire, and indeed would be most unmanageable without it.
I have not yet come to believe that any power greater than myself could restore me to sanity and moral compliance.
It’s something I’ve done long enough and without any complications that it is as much a part of me as is breathing or drinking water.
This is my message. This is my first baby step towards Kleptoholics Anonymous.
<a href=”http://perioddrama.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/The-Book-Thief-06-2013.jpg”> The Book Thief </A>