Roberto Bolaño Explains the Good Thing About Stealing Books

From Roberto Bolaño’s July, 2003 interview with Mexican Playboy, collected in The Last Interview and Other Conversations

The good thing about stealing books–unlike safes–is that one can carefully examine their contents before perpetrating the crime.

5 thoughts on “Roberto Bolaño Explains the Good Thing About Stealing Books”

  1. I used to steal books when I was homeless because you’d go extremely long periods of time being completely alone with the night and the police, and sometimes you’d just want to be somewhere holding something other than your backpack.

    I also stole books when I wasn’t homeless. So maybe I have a problem.


  2. Not sure if I should admit that. Let’s just say, from major retailers. But also from a couple of used bookstores. One of the bookstores is a legendary place in Long Beach called Acres of Books. They had a pretty good idea I was taking books, but I was also performing there every friday and hanging around a lot, being generally cool. I also bought books whenever a little cash came my way, so I think the combo of liking my poetry/prose me buying shit and also stealing weighed itself out. It’s been tore down now to make way for some fucking arts center or something. Ray Bradbury used to frequent the store back in its heydey. He still came around now and again (kinda), but he’s in a wheelchair and stuff so he’s, you know…


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