Gil by Ruud Baan, Isis Vaandrager
This is pretty much exactly the wrong way to pull a book off the shelf.
I bet that guy’s library is just full of books with torn headcaps.
The RIGHT way is to push the surrounding books back, then grasp the book you want by the MIDDLE OF THE SPINE. Then you can pull it off the shelf.
Like so (image from University of Delaware libraries):
This is the cause of one of the most common repairs I have to make. Reinforcing the headcap helps.