Liborum necesse est se faciat amatorem. Perhaps, as this Latin proverb suggests, it is necessary to fall in love with books, to turn them into lovers. But what happens when this passionate love affair spins out of control? In The Book Thief (2005), Markus Zusak's novel aimed equally at young adult and adult readers, the eponymous protagonist rarely engages with books because they afford stories of enchanting and enchaining interest. Rather, Liesel Meminger seems to hunt and enjoy books for quite different reasons than the delights of storytelling and pure entertainment. I first explore the laws of attraction which make books so beguiling to Liesel, before examining if this impulsive obsession of acquiring books has not become a blatant symptom of bibliomania, and more specifically of bibliokleptomania. After discussing the psychodynamical perception of what is often referred as book madness, I shall demonstrate these printed works in Markus Zusak's novel are much more than mere storytelling as they fulfil specific functions, all of which challenge the normative way of seeing texts, literary and otherwise.

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