Somebody swiped it? Good

From Frankfurt, Germany, comes word that the city's annual book fair, which ended Oct. 14, apparently was a roaring success again this year. By almost every measure, in fact. Despite a one-day strike by transit workers while it was in progress, more than 100,000 people paid up to $46.50 apiece to attend. The event also attracted exhibitors from 108 countries who brought along 400,000 copies of their latest titles, not to mention DVDs and other related products to the showcase Messegelände Exhibition Centre. Oh, and one more thing: Thieves shop-lifted so many of the display copies that local news outlets were able to compile a top-10 list of the most-stolen titles. (Those that were printed in German, anyway.) But hold on, you say, how can that possibly be considered a measure of success? Well, because it turns out that the publishing houses aren't upset over the losses. Quite the opposite: They anticipate them and, what's more, regard that top-10 index as a barometer of future trends. Or, as the spokeswoman for one publisher put it to reporters, "The most-stolen books are usually ... the most likely to end up on the best-seller lists" later on. No word on which title was pilfered most often. But, for what it's worth, one that made the list was the German translation of Nobel Peace Prize-winner Al Gore's opus on climate change, "An Inconvenient Truth."

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