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“Shoplifting” Books

When one goes to the seforim store and picks up a sefer we know that hagba is koneh but what is paying the money to the teller have to do with the maaseh kinyan. because everyone goes to the seforim store picks up a sefer and reads a little does the hagba really have any importence in terms of this situation?
thanks very much

Answer:

Hagbaha only affects an acquisition when the intention of the buyer is to transfer the book into his property by means of hagbaha, and when the seller also agrees that this transfer should be made (according to certain opinions, the intention of the seller can be effective even if the buyer does not have full intention to buy the item). In a sefarim store, the generally accepted concensus is that buyers may pick up books to browse from the shelves, meaning that the act of picking up the sefer is no interpreted as an act of purchase. Even if the buyer intends to purchase it by means of his hagbaha, I believe the kinyan would not be valid, because the seller intends that books should only transfer to the property of the buyer after payment at the till.

Sources: See Bava Basra 85a (concerning lifting something up for the purpose of measuring, and not for purchasing); see also Shulchan Aruch CM 200:7-8, and Ketzos Hachoshen 243:4 and 275:4 (concerning the need for intention when making an acquisition). Some explain that hagbaha must be an “act of ownership,” meaning that I show my ownership over the item by lifting it up, which itself affects the transfer into my property. Reading a book in a shop is inherently not an act of ownership, because it is accepted to read books and place them back on the shelf.

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