You might remember Abbie Hoffman's famous counterculture work, Steal This Book, and now, according to The New York Times, it seems that shoplifters are taking Hoffman's advice, in particular with titles by Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs.
What would Jack think about people exercising a little "five finger discount" with On The Road? Well, that's an interesting question. On the one hand, he details frequent pilfering during his road trips; however, it was often a matter of survival (food, for example). I'm guessing he wouldn't be a big fan of people shoplifting his books (and taking royalties out of his pocket - or his estate's pocket at this point). It would violate his fiscal sense and perhaps his Catholic upbringing to boot.
I wonder what he'd think about my reverse shoplifing copies of The Beat Handbook into various bookstores around the country (so far, San Francisco & Venice Beach, CA; Augusta, ME; Lowell, MA; Corning, NY)?
Speaking of which, it's not too late to get your hands on a copy in time for Christmas: buy The Beat Handbook on Amazon. I wish you could steal one from a bookstore, but they won't carry it. After all, it's self-published, and nothing good has ever been self-published (that was sarcasm - check out Famous Self-Published Books).