“Literary Litterbug” Pleads Guilty to Tossing Books From Vehicle

Electric Lit is 12 years old! Help support the next dozen years by helping us raise $12,000 for 12 years, and get exclusive merch!

Justice has been served! Glenn Pladsen, a man whom the press dubbed the “literary litterbug,” admitted in court to tossing over 600 books from his vehicle. U.S. 287, a highway in Colorado, was littered with books for months until a state trooper finally witnessed the crime in April. I can only imagine that the sight of hundreds of abandoned novels on the road would have been slightly apocalyptic.

According to The Denver Post, Pladsen pleaded guilty to three counts of littering and has been sentenced to 30 hours of community service by a county judge. He was also ordered to pay $1,725 in clean-up and court costs. Employees of The Colorado Department of Transportation spent hours collecting and removing books (unused and often in perfect condition!) along the highway from February to April, and the mystery of their origin plagued the news. Many of the abandoned books were romance novels, which might have suggested a cynical, world-weary, heartbroken human trying to purge all reminders of a lost love. But I digress: the real reason is a lot less exciting.

In an attempt to explain why he so cruelly cast aside thousands of books, Pladsen revealed that he’d bought them all from a used bookstore when it went out of business, hoping to sell them on Amazon for a profit. After trying and failing to do so, he thought littering was the next best option.

As Jezebel reports, some of the orphaned books were titled Rogue Angel Sacrifice, Taken by the Viking and Rocky and Bullwinkle: The Movie Official Joke Book. (Amusingly diverse…)

It’s been a strange month in Colorado regarding the treatment of books. Just last week, a Little Free Library in Denver was torched by a mysterious arsonist. If only Pladsen had taken an extra moment or two to investigate nobler alternatives to dumping books, such as donating them to a Little Free Library, then perhaps the indignity of this crime could have been avoided.

More Like This

The Acknowledgments Are My Favorite Part of a Book

I read them before anything else because they tell the story behind the story

Jul 20 - Ayden LeRoux

What “The Virgin Suicides” Tells Us About White Flight From Detroit

Reading Jeffrey Eugenides's 1993 novel as an allegory for the self-destruction of white exodus

Jul 6 - Arvind Dilawar

How 10 Book Covers Evolved, from Rejected Drafts to Final Design

Book designers explain how the covers you love came to be

Jun 3 - Christopher Louis Romaguera
Thank You!