Have you noticed that Bukowski’s books are stolen particularly often?
He would be at the top of the list. Bukowski himself had a kind of outlaw persona — he was a writer that the mainstream tended to ignore, and his reputation was built on word-of-mouth. Before St. Mark’s Bookshop existed, my partner and myself worked at a bookstore near St. Mark’s Church, where Bukowski was scheduled to read. Beforehand, he came into the bookstore, where we used to play rock ’n’ roll music, and he said, “Why don’t you turn that crap off and play some Mozart?” So we did.
Billfold pal Jessica Gross (who recently talked about having control issues when it comes to working as a freelancer and earning money) has a series of delightful short pieces about popular culture in the recent issue of The New York Times Magazine. She talked to a bookshop about the most popular stolen books (besides Bukowski, books by Jack Kerouac, Paul Auster, William S. Burroughs, and Don DeLillo are frequently stolen), and talked to a wedding D.J. about the most popular song ever downloaded (“I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eye Peas).
Photo of Bukowski via Wikimedia Commons