£1 Million Of Books Stolen In Movie-Worthy Heist

by Kerri Jarema

The book community is like a family. No one but us can more fully relate to our reading obsessions. We all make equally absurd TBR lists. We all buy too many editions of the same book. We've all definitely dealt with the backlash of too many canceled plans when we just wanted to read instead. And we all know how important our personal libraries are. When even one book goes missing, left on the train or lent to a friend (or ahem, former friend, am I right?) who just doesn't understand the concept of borrowing, the devastation can be all too real. So, imagine our shock of empathy when we read this story: a man had £1 Million worth of books stolen from him. Yes, we're clutching our chests in pain right now, too.

The man, book dealer Alessandro Meda Riquier, says that 51 of his old and rare books (including 1566 second edition of Nicolaus Copernicus' De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium that was the most valuable at a reported £215,000) were being stored in a building near London's Heathrow Airport when they were taken. Apparently the raid was conducted super Mission Impossible style, with the thieves cracking into four containers and even checking books against a stock list, leaving behind the ones they didn't want. But here's where it gets crazy: reports says that the selected titles were put in suitcases and pulled up to the roof with ropes before being lowered down to a waiting van where they were driven away. It has been speculated that the theft was an organized hit. If this is not already being made into an edge-of-your-seat action movie, Hollywood is asleep on the job.

Of course, these books cannot quite be compared to our battered and beloved copies of The Baby-Sitters Club from third grade, and the stolen titles were actually on their way to an event in California where they were likely to be sold, but still. We understand better than anyone that losing books that are precious to you can be a seriously sad event. Here's hoping Scotland Yard can track down Meda Riquier's books before they meet an unfortunate end on the black market. If there was ever a time to get Sherlock on the case, it's now.