A look at the tomes that have tried — with varying degrees of success — to capture Apple’s elusive leader.

By Daniel Okrent, contributor

Of all the pithy, pointed, and quotable sentences uttered about Steve Jobs during his three decades on the national scene, my favorite comes from an early Apple colleague: “He would have made an excellent king of France.” Except even Louis XIV would envy the quantity of words spilled by two generations of journalists trying to tell us what King Steve is really like.

I’ll confess: I didn’t read every page of the 21 Jobs-related books stacked so thickly on my desk that there’s barely room left for my 24-inch, 2.93GHz iMac, my 120GB iPod, my iPhone G3, or my backup Mac Mini. (I’ve taken a pass on the Apple TV, which seems about as necessary as a backache.)

Time was a problem, of course, but there was also what I call the Moritz factor: Page 177 in one Apple AAPL book is likely to be a rewrite of page 252 in another, which reformulates something from page 96 in yet another, which was originally found in “The Little Kingdom,” by journalist Michael Moritz. Like, for instance, the king of France line, which has spread through the Jobs literature like a viral video on YouTube. Read the rest of the story here.