|Holland House, London, 1940|
As a reader of book blogs, chances are you’ve probably come across the image above. I’ve always admired the photo. Nothing stops readers from reading.
But when the photo popped into my mind the other day I thought, “Those men were looters!”
A quick internet search brought me to Books for Victory where Andrew Brozyna speculates that the shot may have been staged and printed in newspapers to help boost British morale. See his post here: Books for Victory: Publishing During WWII: London Bookstore and Library Bombed in the Blitz.
If you visit Books for Victory look around or bookmark it for later perusal. There are some groovy photos of books, people with books, bookstore shots, and lot of interesting bookish history of WWII.
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My first glance makes me think that they are die hard book lovers and live by a code where they would not loot the books no matter how they coveted them.
Hmm…I've been pondering your comment today. I suppose if this wasn't a staged photo and the men did take books they'd be considered opportunist thieves rather than looters since they didn't cause the initial destruction. Depending on the circumstances in which the books were left, I'd probably take a few…if they needed saving/safe keeping…until the owner rebuilt…but that's more like protective custody than looting.