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Author Topic: 12 Obscure Words Every Book Lover Should Know  (Read 541 times)

Offline ScarletBea

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12 Obscure Words Every Book Lover Should Know
« on: October 26, 2017, 06:11:07 PM »
(from the Waterstones blog, from the book The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities (Paul Anthony Jones)

A booklover is a bibliophile of course, and the page-turning bibliophile’s excessive admiration of books is properly known as bibliophily. But elsewhere in the less well-thumbed corners of the dictionary lie a host of equally book-obsessed words, which any self-respecting bibliophile will doubtless find useful—a dozen of which are listed here…

1. BIBLIOKLEPT
Coined in the late 19th century, the word biblioklept shares a common ancestor with kleptomania and literally means a “book thief”. Or, put another way, it’s that friend you lend your books to who conveniently never gets round to returning them.

2. BIBLIOTAPH
…And if you’re sick of your books going missing or unreturned, try becoming a bibliotaph: someone who hoards or hides their books, or metaphorically “buries” them under lock and key.

3. OMNILEGENT
Derived from Latin roots meaning “all” and “reading”, if you’re omnilegent then you’re either extremely well read and have a knowledge of a great amount of literature, or are absolutely addicted to reading everything that comes your way.

4. STALL-LEARNING
Stall-literature was Thomas Carlyle’s word for the low-quality literature found at 19th century marketplace bookstalls. Along similar lines, the English poet Richard Leigh coined the word stall-learning as far back as the late 1600s to refer to the superficial knowledge of a subject that is picked up by flicking idly through a book—which is also known as index-learning.

5. BIBLIOBIBULI
The writer HL Mencken coined this word in 1957, writing, “There are people who read too much: bibliobibuli. I know some who are constantly drunk on books, as other men are drunk on whiskey or religion.” Appropriately enough, he coined the word from a mishmash of the Greek word for “book”, and the Latin word for “drink”.

6. DÉJÀ-LU
If déjà-vu is the unusual feeling that something has already come to pass, then déjà-lu is its literary cousin. Derived from the French verb lire, it refers to the discomforting feeling that you’re reading something that you’ve already read.

7. ABIBLIOPHOBIA
…And if you have actually resorted to reading things you’ve already read, then you’re perhaps on your way to developing abibliophobia: the fear of running out of things to read!

8. ELUCUBRATION
Reading or studying by candlelight—or put another way, reading by artificial light after dark—is called elucubration. Someone who does precisely that is an elucubrator or, as Shakespeare preferred, a candle-waster.

9. HELLUO LIBORUM
Leave it to Latin to find the perfect term for you: a helluo liborum is someone with an insatiable appetite for books. Brilliantly, it literally means “book-glutton”.

10. BIBLIOTHETIC
Alphabetical order. Genre by genre. Dewey Decimal. No matter how you choose to do it, the adjective bibliothetic refers to the arrangement of books in a library or on a bookshelf. It’s derived from a Greek word meaning “placement” or “arrangement”—which makes it a distant relative of the word thesis.

11. LECTORY
Dating from as far back as the 14th century, a lectory is literally a “reading place”: somewhere where you and your books can be left alone in peace.

12. TSUNDOKU
We’re bending the rules slightly with this last one, by adopting a word from Japanese—but for good reason, as there really isn’t a direct English translation of tsundoku. It refers to the obsessive practice of buying books but leaving them unread in piles around your house. Surely a situation no one here can identify with…
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: 12 Obscure Words Every Book Lover Should Know
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2017, 06:13:20 PM »
I'm sort of a 2, definitely a 5 (but 'too much'? there's no such thing as 'too much'!).
Sometimes feel 6, but not 7, since there are lots out there.
I do 8.
I'm definitely a 9, hurrah, never a 12.

 ;D
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"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all" - Douglas Adams

Offline Yora

Re: 12 Obscure Words Every Book Lover Should Know
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2017, 06:39:53 PM »
Tsundoku pretty much means simply "book hoarding" when you translate it literally.

Interestingly, the word goes back to the 19th century.
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