Monday, February 16, 2009

An Abundance of Crime in Bookstores

I jokingly said a couple of days ago that criminals don't go to used book stores. That reminded me, sadly enough, of all the headlines I've seen in the last few months regarding all kind of criminal activity in bookstores. Maybe we're not as safe browsing the shelves as we like to think:

Man Charged with Bookstore Assault - Ohio

Man Guilty in Bookstore Molestations - California

Blogger Stabbed at Bookstore in Bejing
- China

Adult Bookstore Robbed at Gunpoint - Kentucky

Jimmy Carter Visits University Bookstore to Sign Books - Washington

Teens Treated After Collapsing at Bookstore - California

Bookstore Evacuated After Electrical Problem - Texas

Man Guilty of Punching Bookstore Owner - Canada
I've noticed this kind of thing for a while now and 2009 seems to be getting off to a really quick start when it comes to bookstore crime. The links above are all from just the last two or three days, in fact.

What really kills me, though, is the number of child molesters who do their sick thing in the children's section of bookstores - and how many parents send their small children there alone while they themselves wander around the rest of the store. I take my grandchildren to bookstores on a regular basis and, I guarantee you, that the last thing I would ever do is lose sight of them for ten seconds - even in a bookstore. And yet I see little ones in the children's section all alone for fifteen to thirty minutes at a time. That scares me.

Lessons to be learned: Stay away from Adult Bookstores and Jimmy Carter book-signings.


  1. I love that you included the Jimmy Carter headline!

    And, yeah, it's amazing how people just drop their kids off in the children's department and walk away. There are some creepy people hanging out in stores.

  2. Just checking to see if anyone really reads "links." :-)

    (Although, you know that I do consider Carter's post-presidency to be a crime.)

  3. You know, I could swear I once read a rather forgettable mystery about a criminal who opened a used book store...

  4. Mella DP - It's not quite a match, but could you be talking about Lawrence Block's Bernie Rhodenbarr books?

  5. Hm, yes, that's it, actually. The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling. I've never read any others.