New York: Riverhead, 2009. First edition. Hardcover. SIGNED. 288pp. Octavo [22 cm] 3/4 orange paper over maroon boards. Title stamped in gilt on spine, author's name stamped in gilt on front board. Spine ends lightly bumped. Touch of wear to dust jacket. Signed by bookseller Ken Sanders, the "biblio detective." Very good + / near fine. Item #59803
Antiquarian bookseller Ken Sanders spent six years on the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America's Board of Governors, serving as security chair. During those years Sanders became involved, some say obsessively involved, in numerous high profile fraud, forgery and book theft cases in the antiquarian book world.
Over a three year period Sanders pursued and unraveled some perplexing and bold book thefts that had begun in the San Francisco Bay area, but soon spread across the country; thefts often targeting members of the ABAA and involving the theft of such valuable and rare first editions as John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, Jack Kerouac's On the Road and Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge, among many others.
These antiquarian book thefts by a then unknown bay area thief quickly soared into the tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars and went on for a period of years. With the help of his fellow booksellers and an unusual cop that took book theft seriously, Sanders, the self-professed biblio-detective, cracked the case and exposed the book thief, one John Charles Gilkey, "The Man Who Loved to Steal Books Too Much" and sent him to San Quentin for three years.
Journalist Allison Bartlett became fascinated with this case and the book thief and the book detective and has now written a full-length book about the dark side of the antiquarian book trade: The Man Who Loved Books Too Much.