Utne Blogs > Literature

Stuff White Boys Like: Stealing Bukowski

by Staff


Tags: shoplifting, independent booksellers, Seattle,

bookstore

A typical independent bookstore, in my mind, is like the record store in Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity: a lair of connoisseurs communing and clashing over matters of taste. And of course, the occasional shoplifter skulks nearby. But even thieves have their canon, a former bookstore employee explains in the Stranger. The most aggravating aspect of shoplifting for independent sellers is the mindset of their thieves, the “self-satisfied young white men, the kind who love to stick it to the man,” who confuse independent stores with said man—and abscond with hundreds of dollars worth of graphic novels, Beat poetry, and Philip K. Dick stories.

(Thanks, Arts & Letters Daily.)

Lisa Gulya

Image by gadl, licensed  under Creative Commons.

tg
3/20/2008 1:16:02 PM

This is quite entertaining and interesting. For one, though, it's simply easier to steal from a raggedy indie seller than, um, Amazon. The 'white men' reference rings oddly, though--since when are the patrons of such stores, as in 'High Fidelity,' not largely 'self-satisfied white men'--i.e., who else who would be there to steal? (How would he have described them if they were largely people of color?) Besides, aren't indie stores, proud martyrs to (selective) literature, fostering such 'stick it to the man' mentalities as well as anyone?