Inventory happened last week at the theological bookshop where I work. I did the inventory of the used books as well as the stock room. Today, as happens every year after inventory, was the day I tried to find the missing stock. I had some success — books were behind other books on the shelf, or were small and overlooked during the first round of inventory-taking. But, there were a lot of books still missing. Some of these books have been missing for a while — I’ve gone looking for them for customers and have not found them.
Let’s be frank here. “Missing” stock generally means stolen stock. Note that I work at a theological bookshop. This means stolen material includes items with titles like The Door to Heaven, or Justification. I ranted a few times at innocent bystanders today, including one of our regular customers, addressing the absent persons who absconded with these books. “REALLY???” I said, with some sarcasm. “Really? You stole a book called Justification? How do you justify that?” Or, “Really? A youth ministry book about setting an example for youth? Really? You stole that?”
Also missing from used books: several Bibles, a Book of Common Prayer, the Eucharist service, several books from the pastoral ministry section, several books from the spirituality section, a whole lot of New Testament commentaries with 1 & 2 Thessalonians particularly well represented, as well as a few interesting literature selections. The winner with the most books MIA was the Theology section. REALLY? C’mon people. Isn’t there a commandment about this?