Words for Book Lovers

I get an email every day from Dictionary.com with a “Word of the Day”. Then on Mondays there is a quiz of the last seven days worth of words.  And occasionally there are other emails about word-related things.  Last week there was an email with a link to “Words All Book Lovers Should be Using”.  You know I can’t resist that.

Here are the words.

  • bookish
  • colophon
  • bibliotaph
  • fascicle
  • logophile
  • sesquipedalian
  • bibliophile

How many of them do you know? How many of them describe YOU?  Any other words you think all book lover should be using?

36 thoughts on “Words for Book Lovers”

  1. Of the list, bibliotaph was the only word I hadn’t run across before. Denoting one who hoards books, it strikes me as judgy.

    Books rarely have colophons anymore, so that might be hard to work into a conversation.

    I think I first came across fascicle as the term used to describe the self-bound packets of poems Emily Dickinson assembled.

    I was a little surprised to see sesquipedalian in the list, since it literally describes anything that is a foot and a half long but it looks like it’s most commonly used metaphorically (and pejoratively) as a way to describe long (and especially pedantic) words.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Gosh, Bill. Your dislike of bibliotaph sounds personal. Have you been accused of being a hoarder of books or perhaps worry about your book habits? Do you buy more books than you intend or have repeated, failed, attempts to stop buying books? Does your family complain about your book buying? Do you buy books to relax? Maybe you need to check out Bibliotaphs Anonymou. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hoarder or hider of books is so subjective. None of my books are in piles on the floor. For someone who has few books, and little interest in them, what might look like a hoard to them? As far as “hiding” books, are books on bookshelves ever hidden? If others never express an interest in seeing them that doesn’t make them hidden.

        I don’t worry about my book buying habits and I’ve never attempted to stop. It doesn’t impinge on family economics. I wouldn’t describe my book acquisition habits so much as a way to relax as a way to expand my knowledge and understanding.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. It seems to me that a bibliotaph is someone who acquires books and hides them away so no one else can read them, deriving a sense of power and control from keeping others from accessing the material. Could we perhaps define those who want to ban books as bibliotaphs? Collectiong books doesn’t make one a hoarder.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. There aren’t many books one could keep from others by hiding a copy. I think you may be right about book banners, although attempting to ban books has never worked very well.

          Liked by 2 people

        3. Some folks might recall Stephen Blumberg. He lived in several states, including Iowa and Illinois, but grew up in Saint Paul. While Minnesota doesn’t rank high in producing criminals, Blumberg pretty much towers over the field of bibliomanes. He is called “the most successful book thief in the history of the United States.” I remember remarkable tales about his ability to steal precious books from highly secure locations.

          Liked by 3 people

        4. I’ve read about Blumberg somewhere but I couldn’t tell you where. Also interesting are the stories about rare book and manuscript forgers. Mark Hofmann was one and his exploits are recounted in The Poet and the Murderer.


        5. I rather think that a bibliotaph applies to someone who possesses an unique or exceedingly rare book or manuscript which is very valuable and they keep it locked up to prevent theft, not to keep anyone from reading it, although the net result is the same. One could argue that such singular cultural artifacts should be in the public domain, in a secure but accessible setting, but as long as individuals get a thrill from exclusive ownership, that’s not likely to happen.

          Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve thought the same, BiR. I have a fuzzy memory of a story describing a Blumberg caper that was nothing less than astonishing. But it would be hard to build a film around a guy who was judged insane, as Blumberg was more than once.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. There are a bunch of words and abbreviations that describe the various parts of a book, but many of them, like head and tail and signature, are not obscure or exclusive to books. Some, like quarto and octavo, recto and verso are more unfamiliar. Unless you are a dealer in antiquarian books or a collector of them, a book binder or book restorer, they are not likely to enter into your conversation.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. huh i got word of the day added to my email the other day and it challenges my knowledge pretty completely. i don’t remember seeing any of these words but it’s been a busy week and i may not have opened any

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i tried to take the quiz but it sent me off to some other link to sign up for something

      everyone wants your email address today.
      google collected unencumbered access to unsuspecting online common folk for years . they didn’t exploit it the way facebook did and quietly just observed our actions

      they know bill is a antiquarian book binder and they are deciding if he is a hoarder and hider

      they will send out header and footer alerts when appropriate

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I’ve started following Robert MacFarlane on Twitter, and he does posts of all sorts of obscurce, words, many for things in nature.

    I must be mellowing out as I am more delighted to learn new words that I don’t necessarily have to “own” or work into conversation, from the sheer “who knew there was a name for that?” of it all.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I just found a new (to me) word that would be fun to work into a conversation. Like pulchritude, it doesn’t sound like what it means. The word is “eucatastrophe”. It means a happy ending to a story.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. donald trump ate a large quantity of sour kraut and it caused such distress that when he rushed to the facilities there was a huge explosive release. when they went in to clean up they couldn’t decide which to keep
    they chose both there was no discernible difference
    it was a very eucatostrophic event

    Liked by 3 people

  6. OT: we all know what this day means in history. I used to have a clear memory of how I learned of the Twin Towers tragedy. I was listening to The Morning Show. Dale said something bad had happened in New York. I remember hearing something in his voice that made me turn on the TV in time to see the second plane hit.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Of the words listed above, only logophile can be accurately applied to me. Only four of them are words I’m familiar with. Oddly enough sesquipedalian is one of them, although it falls in the category of words that I’d probably never use. Some words come in handy in Scrabble or crossword puzzles, but for all intents and purposes are not words I’d otherwise use. I admire people who have a good vocabulary and speak with a natural eloquence without sounding pretentious.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. We agree, PJ. It is a joy to listen to someone who speaks with clarity and precision without seeming pretentious. I’d guess most Baboons have sizable vocabularies of words they are comfortable using, but also a large group of words they recognize from reading but would never use in conversation.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. So, a bibliotaph is a person who “buries” books so no one can find them. The Cenotaph, a monument in London, is considered an “empty tomb” in remembrance of those who have died but are buried elsewhere. I think the words are related.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you’re anything like me, and I now you’re not, Linda, that would be a complete waste of time. I no longer retain most of the new information that enters my brain. Luckily there’s enough information in there already that I can finesse a reasonably sensible conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

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