May 14th, 2009

stella stella can't you hear me yella


For those of you who don't know, the A.V. Club has started a new online book club, with the first selection being Katherine Dunn's 1989 novel Geek Love. It's been pretty enjoyable so far (you can read it here), and we're wrapping up the coverage with a special live-blog/chat! Join us this afternoon at 4PM CST for brainy lit talk and punchy one-liners.

In a way, this totally justifies my horrible misanthropy

A guy I work with is friends with a bunch of people who work at our local Half Price Books stores, and they gave him this astonishing statistic from the ABA:

The most frequently stolen book from booksellers is the Holy Bible.

Some stores don't even keep copies on the shelf, because it's guaranteed they'll be stolen; they keep it locked up in an office or behind a counter or something.

This totally fucking blows my mind (albeit while confirming a lot of the worst things I think about people), and here's why:

1. It means that people are stealing a book which explicitly states that it's a sin to steal. In a greater sense, it means that people who presumably think that the Bible is the unerring word of God (I mean, it can't be atheists or Satanists who are stealing Bibles, right?) are getting their copies by expressly disobeying its precepts.

2. It's not like it's hard to get a Bible, that people have to steal them. You can get a free one by checking into any hotel room in the English-speaking world from an organization that exists specifically to give out free Bibles. I don't know if this is still the case, but when I was a kid, there were tons of charities and religious organizations who would give you a free New Testament just for the asking. And anywhere in the Western world, any city or town anywhere, you can go into a church, and they will probably give you a free Bible, or at least let you stay there and study the Bible as long as you want. They'll even read the Bible to you and explain it. For nothing.

3. If the reading habits of most religious people I've met is any indication, this means that the only book these people own is stolen.

Man, I honestly can't articulate why, but this statistic just makes me think "Aw, fuck everybody" more than anything else I've heard lately.