Comment voler des livres
“Set off explosives in the library to create a deafening noise. Get out during the explosion. Cover the book with thinly sliced deli meat and walk out. Shout “thief!” and point at someone. Walk out with the book when everyone is watching.”
American artist David Horvitz details 80 ideas for stealing books. Originally published in 2013, this reissue of Comment voler des livres is available in French, English, Spanish, and 17 other languages (we don’t have them all in store!) A comprehensive guide to stealing books with the price printed on the cover, prominently displayed, provokes the bookstore visitor to an awareness of the unconscious, pre-empted decisions we make every day.
The poetic, funny and paradoxical texts also highlight some structural elements of the mechanics of the bookstore and our relationship to the exchange of goods. They insert friction into the conditioned behavior we exhibit when we move through commercial spaces. All advertisements urge us to buy things, but rarely do we encounter a message encouraging us to steal – especially not one with the authority that print still conveys.
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