Library books thwart purse snatcher; save lives

Recently, my sister was living in Los Angeles and visiting her neighborhood library every day to use its computers and job hunting resources. One day, as she was walking from her parked car to the library, a purse-snatcher grabbed her bag. Luckily, she was holding a drink in her hand, which made the purse handle catch on her wrist. Unluckily, she fell. The thief continued tugging on her purse until my sister heard a grunt, and her purse went slack. She looked up to see an elderly gentleman by her side.

As they waited for police to arrive, this good Samaritan told my sister that he saw the whole episode unfold in front of him, but couldn’t reach her fast enough to help. When my sister fell, this lovely man saw his opportunity and cracked the offender over the head with his stack of library books. When the police arrived, the thief was still unconscious!

While The Seattle Public Library certainly does not condone bashing people over the head with a stack of library books, for your own personal safety you might wonder what that helpful senior citizen was holding that could knock a man unconscious for 20 minutes. Here is your answer:

1)      A book about the Civil War. While I don’t know exactly which book he had, many books on the Civil War are hefty tomes. You might be interested in the new book The Great Task Remaining: The Third Year of Lincoln’s War by William Marvel. Positively reviewed by both Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly, the book comes in at a weighty 430 pages, with 16  pages of plates.

2)      A book about World War II. These books also tend to be heavy. Although there are certainly heavier ones, I suggest investigating A Measureless Peril: America in the Fight for the Atlantic: The Longest Battle of World War II by Richard Snow. This book, published this year, is also positively reviewed, and contains a good 353 pages with eight pages of plates.

3)      Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. This last book of the Harry Potter series includes 759 hardy pages.

What heavy books do you lug around that are worth their weight to read?

                         ~ Undercover Library Reporter

9 thoughts on “Library books thwart purse snatcher; save lives”

  1. Anything by Neal Stephenson would definitely have put him out for good. Darren calls his works “door stop” books.

  2. I’d also recommend the most recent edition of War and Peace, translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky. I’ve often thought it would be useful to throw at a criminal (not that I have anything against either Tolstoy or the translators!)

  3. I recall using a box containing the entire Will & Arial Durant Story of Civilization to keep my apartment door closed after break-ins had trashed the latch & lock. Slowed ’em down nicely.

  4. Wow! This video takes things a step further. Which 2010 books could save you from a bullet? Not many. To be fair, they only test fiction.

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