Thursday February 4th, 2010

Confessions of a Book Thief

Writer Rodrigo Fresán recalls a time in his life when he was a book thief:

And one perfect winter morning, I challenged someone who at the time was a good friend and rival, another consummate book thief, to the ultimate test.

He and I stationed ourselves at one end of Avenida Corrientes, in Buenos Aires, famous for the number of bookstores located along it, bookstores that are still there, I think, though I’m writing this from so far away. And we set ourselves the goal — each of us on one side of the street, previously selected by the flip of a coin — to steal the seven volumes of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. In the order of publication.

I ought to say that I succeeded and he didn’t, and that our friendship was never the same again.