Wednesday News: Stealing rare books, Amazon wants to settle EU investigation, and is Romance language really romantic?
British book dealer slain for his first edition of ‘The Wind in the Willows,’ prosecutors say – A man is currently on trial in Oxford, England for stabbing and beating a book and antique dealer in his home, all for a crack at his rare books collection, especially his $64,000 copy of The Wind in the Willows. The defendant, Michael Danaher, is claiming self-defense, although he has not yet had the opportunity to make his case.
The prosecution says [Michael] Danaher plotted to kill Greenwood for months as part of a plan to steal the dealer’s rare books, including his copy of “The Wind in the Willows.” The book was published in 1908 with text only by British author Kenneth Grahame; later it was published with a variety of illustrations, adapted many times for stage, television and film. . . .
Officials say he maintained a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet listing what appeared to be robbery targets, including model Kate Moss and novelist Jeffrey Archer; Danaher also had uncovered personal information about television host Simon Cowell. The spreadsheet included “modus” for the targets, with notes of “stun gun” and “ransom.” For Greenwood, Danaher had noted, “Modus: any!! Expected take: rare books.” – Los Angeles Times
‘We Are a Big Family’: Dealers Unite Against Thefts of Rare Books – Read in the context of the first story, this chronicle of the international “family” of antiquarian book dealers makes the decision to kill a dealer for his rare book collection seem even more tragically ridiculous and futile. Not only is there a database of stolen books maintained by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (which sounds like a superhero organization), but there are also myriad electronic connections between and among these book dealers, as well as their conditioning to spot someone who is trying to sell a stolen book. One persistent obstacle to the League’s work against book theft, though, is the relatively lax security over many rare book collections.
Whenever books are stolen, the antique book world springs into action, activating informal email trees to alert sellers, libraries and book lovers of the stolen titles and employing the aid of databases that log every pilfered text. That response, those in the field say, has stymied thieves and is helping make such thefts as rare as a Gutenberg Bible. Reselling ill-gotten old books is almost impossible.
Rare-book dealers are well versed in warning signs that make them leery of certain sellers, said Pom Harrington, who owns a London-based rare-books firm named Peter Harrington. A pristinely preserved book with an oddly humble origin story is a dead giveaway. “When they say it comes from their grandma’s attic,” Mr. Harrington said, and “you can tell the book is reasonably sophisticated.” . . .
Still, sales of stolen books do take place and many booksellers have stories of inadvertently buying one, particularly those taken from private collectors who may not know about the databases. Some may not realize that they have been robbed: A particularly infamous case involved Marino Massimo De Caro, who was convicted of systematically pilfering the Girolamini Library in Naples, Italy, of which he was director, replacing many titles he took — including original texts by Galileo — with meticulous fakes. – New York Times
Amazon seeks to settle EU antitrust e-book investigation: source – The Eu has been investigating Amazon’s ebook sales for about a year now, and an “anonymous source” claims that the company is looking to settle. Given the EU settlement rules – “the company would not face any fine or finding of wrongdoing if it can offer concessions to allay regulatory concerns” – settlement sounds a lot like exoneration.
The move comes as Amazon is also under scrutiny over its tax deal with Luxembourg, which may result in the U.S. online retailer paying millions of euros in back taxes. . . .
The focus is on Amazon’s e-books in English and German. The company is the biggest e-book distributor in Europe, while the market is growing rapidly. – Reuters
9 Boyfriends React to Their Partners Texting Them in Romance Novel Quotes – Okay, this is pretty funny. I just wonder what would have happened if these relationships were not so seasoned.
What would happen if you started texting your boyfriend using only quotes from romance novels? Would he get it, or would he think your phone had been stolen? Cosmopolitan.com asked nine people to find out, using lines from books by Elizabeth Hoyt, Eloisa James, Beverly Jenkins, Lisa Kleypas, and Sarah MacLean. Spoiler alert: Most of the boyfriends did not get it. – Cosmopolitan