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How to deter "book thieves"?

Okay. I know that one cannot steal a free book. However, this is my problem. I have a Little Free Library which is also an OBCZ (Official BookCrossing Zone).

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/733341

I've been running it with pleasure and pretty much without hitches until this past week when it was hit twice by a TWINBROOK BOOK THIEF. What that person did was to take half of my inventory with each strike, only choosing books in very good or excellent condition and mostly taking hardcover and trade paperbacks. There is a possibility that the books were taken for a good reason, but my feeling is that they were taken for a nefarious reason. I'm pretty sure they were taken to be sold online.

I have no issue with BookCrossing books occasionally being sold. However, I do take umbrage at someone depriving my Little Free Library visitors of the best books I have to offer...and taking them away all in one fell swoop!

To stop this, I have marked the tops of all books in black marker either NOT FOR SALE or LITTLE FREE LIBRARY. I have always been one of those BookCrossers who hate to deface my books with lots of BookCrossing labels and stickers. I have always just used a pre-printed label and used clear packing tape to affix the BC label inside the cover of each book.

Now I want to stamp the tops and inside to prevent another strike by the TWINBROOK BOOK THIEF. I'd like to have made a custom stamp for each book to indicate that my inventory is not for sale. I have the BC stamp ("My previous readers...), but I don't like that stamp. I'd prefer something generic about Little Free Library. I know they sell two stamps, both without a pad.

What should I say? How big of a stamp should I get? Where should I get it? Should I get a stamp and pad, a self-inking stamp, or a pre-inked stamp? Where should I stamp the book?

My goal is to deter the TWINBROOK BOOK THIEF (try saying that phrase quickly five times in a row) without defacing the books.

Any and all help would be appreciated. Thank you so much!


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Okay. I know that one cannot steal a free book. However, this is my problem. I have a Little Free Library which is also an OBCZ (Official BookCrossing Zone).

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/733341

I've been running it with pleasure and pretty much without hitches until this past week when it was hit twice by a TWINBROOK BOOK THIEF. What that person did was to take half of my inventory with each strike, only choosing books in very good or excellent condition and mostly taking hardcover and trade paperbacks. There is a possibility that the books were taken for a good reason, but my feeling is that they were taken for a nefarious reason. I'm pretty sure they were taken to be sold online.

I have no issue with BookCrossing books occasionally being sold. However, I do take umbrage at someone depriving my Little Free Library visitors of the best books I have to offer...and taking them away all in one fell swoop!

To stop this, I have marked the tops of all books in black marker either NOT FOR SALE or LITTLE FREE LIBRARY. I have always been one of those BookCrossers who hate to deface my books with lots of BookCrossing labels and stickers. I have always just used a pre-printed label and used clear packing tape to affix the BC label inside the cover of each book.

Now I want to stamp the tops and inside to prevent another strike by the TWINBROOK BOOK THIEF. I'd like to have made a custom stamp for each book to indicate that my inventory is not for sale. I have the BC stamp ("My previous readers...), but I don't like that stamp. I'd prefer something generic about Little Free Library. I know they sell two stamps, both without a pad.

What should I say? How big of a stamp should I get? Where should I get it? Should I get a stamp and pad, a self-inking stamp, or a pre-inked stamp? Where should I stamp the book?

My goal is to deter the TWINBROOK BOOK THIEF (try saying that phrase quickly five times in a row) without defacing the books.

Any and all help would be appreciated. Thank you so much!


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An other option would be to leave a note in the LFL that it's advisable to take no more than two books at the time? (Although if this person means harm, I doubt he/she will follow the rules.)

I know through the forums that the Athens bookcrossers faced a similar problem a couple of years ago. A guy went twice to an Athens OBCZ and each time took a very large quantity of books without offering any in return. But this OBCZ is a cafeteria, so easier to monitor. The Athens BCers talked with the cafeteria owner and next time this guy was around he told him he is allowed to take no more than two books at a time. I believe BCers put up a couple of banners too. I think this was the last time the guy was seen. Latter some books were spotted in book-selling street stalls.

Have you actually see the person who takes the books? I think I would be on the watch out and go have a chat with him/her next time he/she is around...
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I think the Twinbrook book thief was taking books to sell and not to enlarge his personal library. Any posted notice would have no effect on this person, I believe.

I've never seen the person, but I'd rather not have an encounter with him or her if I can avoid it. If I did see someone doing this, though, I would approach them to see what they were doing. I think my response will be rather clear that they may not take my books to resell them.
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Not for Resale
Released through BookCrossing

that says it was designed by Lyle. I checked and there's no longer any link on Lyle's bookshelf. I think I probably got it back when this site had a page for member-designed labels.

I have no idea how to send you a pdf, but I'll print it out and send you a sheet of the labels so you can check them out and maybe make something similar if you PM me your address.

Actually I just remembered there were two designs. I printed out the larger one too, though I've only used the smaller myself.
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Let me try the stamp I've ordered first. If that doesn't work, I'll PM you to see if I can get hold of your design. Thank you for the offer.

I want a stamp and not just a label because I want to stamp the page edges (probably the top edge) so my notice cannot be removed or covered up in any way.
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I ended up designing and having made a self-inking stamp from Vista Print. I should get it in about a week. It has the LIttle Free Library logo on it and says "Little Free Library - Always a gift - Never for sale". I will stamp the top of each book and the inside of each book to see if that does the trick.
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But I did print out both sizes of labels, so let me know if you want them too. Or let me know how to share a pdf if you want that instead.

I hope your stamper works for you.
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But I did print out both sizes of labels, so let me know if you want them too. Or let me know how to share a pdf if you want that instead.

I hope your stamper works for you.


If you have an email to send them to you can attach the pdf to an email message and send it :)
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I have been writing NOT FOR RESALE on the top edge of each nice book. The crappy ones I leave unmarked! Oh, the irony of that!

I have started writing in smaller, neater print now that I am not as angry as I was a few days ago. In the beginning, I was writing NOT FOR SALE in much larger, bolder print. This should work until I get my stamp (which is en route now). I'll keep your PDF in mind, solittletime.

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