Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Help Catch this Bastard

I ran across this info on an abebooks forum, and I'd like to spread the word.

Early in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday, June 9, a thief robbed an Austin, TX Half Price Books at 2222 of over forty rare and collectible books. Unlike many of the other Half Price locations, these books are the centerpiece of the store, complete with their own room and many locked cases.

The unscrupulous individual absconded with some of the finest items in the store's inventory. Unique titles such as

    Leonard Feather's The New Encyclopedia of Jazz signed or inscribed by over twenty-seven jazz musicians, some multiple times including legends Charlie Byrd, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and Nina Simone
    The Bretano's edition of R. C. Sherriff's famed World War I play Journey's End signed by Sheriff, producer (and poet) Maurice Browne, and legendary director James Whale (who directed this version and would later direct the 1930 film version)
    Author Eugene C. Barker's personal copy of The Life of Stephen F. Austin complete with his penciled notes on changes made to the published text.

Or rare titles such as the

    1875 first French edition of Karl Marx's Das Capital
    signed first edition of Larry McMurtry's The Last Picture Show
    first edition of Under the Volcano by Malcom Lowry
    first edition of Hammet's Maltese Falcon
    the first US edition of Edwin Abbot's cult novel Flatland.
Among the missing:
signed books by Edward Gorey, Stephen King, Hunter S. Thompson, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Richard Nixon
first editions by Jack Kerouac, John Steinbeck, J. D. Salinger, Cormac McCarthy, Dr. Seuss, and Maurice Sendak.

Anyone with information is asked to contact me directly either via email at or at the store (512-451-4463).

Rick Klaw
Half Price Books Austin


Cap'n Bob said...

That's awful. I'll bet Half Price has a good thirty dollars invested in those books.

Unknown said...

I know Rick Klaw, and he runs an honest shop. He paid fair value for those books. Bet on it.

Anonymous said...

If HalfPrice is lucky, the perp will try to unload them on eBay, and the cops will catch him then.

Bill, I'm glad to see that you're staying on an even keel in trying times. I hope all goes well with Judy; she seems to be a fine lady. From a current situation in my family, I know that it's a tough deal, but modern medicine is amazing.

Writeprocrastinator said...

"first edition of Hammet's Maltese Falcon"

The rat ****. I propose that we rig a device similar to what Malcolm McDowell had to endure in "A Clockwork Orange" and have this foul creature read all of the complete works of Danielle Steele...


Cap'n Bob said...

I'll take your word, Bill, but all the Half-Price places around here pay pennies on the dollar for the books they buy. I figured it was company policy.

Unknown said...

Not when Rick's in charge. Trust me.

Anonymous said...

This is a tradgedy. Bookthieves should be horsewhipped and have their spleens disengaged.But amnesty and forgiveness although being a christian thing to do....... oh never mind. but as my friend Lamar says you can't judge a book what you want ... wait.. You can't always get what you want. Lamar has signed Murakamis for sale if anyone is interested.

Anonymous said...

Tragedy. Tragedies. Not good.