The city fathers of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania would obviously would never have allowed Thomas Jefferson to reside within the jurisdiction of their dismal Anthracite region rust bucket community. Jefferson also owned too many books.
A bookstore owner’s obsession with the written word has cost him his Pennsylvania home after local officials deemed his book collection a fire hazard.
Authorities in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., condemned John Puchniak’s apartment this year when a routine inspection raised concern the bookstore owner’s collection of nearly 3,000 texts could cause a fire, The (Wilkes-Barre) Times Leader reported Wednesday.
Puchniak now resides in a local hotel, while attempting to limit the stacks upon stacks of books that decorate his condemned apartment.
But even if he can restore the apartment to acceptable living standards, Puchniak has said he cannot afford to appeal the city to reopen his home.
Attorney Jim Hayward has become a champion for the troubled literary fan, attempting to convince local officials to let the 59-year-old store his growing collection as he sees fit.
Wilkes-Barre Times Leader story.