Hemingway, Sedaris, and Kerouac are the most widely-stolen authors

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Earnest Hemingway with a lion

The Awl talked to booksellers at McNally Jackson in New York yesterday and found out that rampant theft has forced the store to place certain titles behind the counter. So which books are inspiring such illegal literacy? There are a few, some more surprising than others.

Charles Bukowski, Jack Kerouac, and Hunter S. Thompson are some of the more popular authors amongst thieves. That’s not surprising news; it would be surprising if books from those writers weren’t being stolen. Perhaps more eyebrow-raising are David Sedaris, Ernest Hemingway (above, looking scary), and F. Scott Fitzgerald, all of whom are also being tucked into the backpacks of nerdy criminals that simply must know what ends up happening with Gatsby.

You’re probably wondering, “What should I steal if I don’t live in a dorm room?” Well there’s no right or wrong answer, as it’s ultimately up to taste. But if you’re really in a bind, and all the Oprah ones are sold out, you could always go the route of Raymond Scott, the regular ol’ Falstaff who was jailed yesterday for stealing Shakespeare’s First Folio. What do you think he’ll tell his cellmate?