Are you a Bibliophile, someone who loves books? If you are you’ll know the joy of buying, collecting, owning, (smelling?), touching and of course reading these textual marvels. There’s something about the very form factor of a book that no e-book will ever be able to replace. It’s a tangible manifestation of knowledge, of the joy of learning new things and of the journey into new ideas or worlds. As you can probably tell, I am a Bibliophile to the core, so in this article we introduce you to some words I think every Bibliophile should know.

[ bib-lee-uh-bib-you-lee ]

A special word for those of us who read too much … Bibliobibuli

The term was first coined in 1957 by H. L. Mencken and derives from the Greek “biblio“, meaning books, and the Latin “bibulous“, from “bibere” (to drink).

“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. They wander through this most diverting and stimulating of worlds in a haze, seeing nothing and hearing nothing.”

[ bib-lee-uh-smy-ia ]

The enjoyment of the smell of old books.

As well as the smell of old books I also enjoy the crisper smell of new books. It’s almost as if you tried hard enough you could injest the ideas and concepts layed out across the pages.

“She breathed deeply of the scent of decaying fiction, disintegrating history, and forgotten verse, and she observed for the first time that a room full of books smelled like dessert: a sweet snack made of figs, vanilla, glue, and cleverness.”
― Joe Hill, NOS4A2

[ boo·qwi·nisters ]

Bouquinistes are booksellers who deal with second-hand books of little value. However for a true book-lover,no ‘antique book of little value’ is ever valueless

The Bouquinistes of Paris, France, are booksellers of used and antiquarian books who ply their trade along large sections of the banks of the Seine: on the right bank from the Pont Marie to the Quai du Louvre, and on the left bank from the Quai de la Tournelle to Quai Voltaire. The Seine is thus described as ‘the only river in the world that runs between two bookshelves’.

[ ver·bee·side ]

One who distorts the sense of a word

Verbicide was first coined by Oliver Wendell Holmes in The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table (1858) and popularized by English author C.S. Lewis and lierally means “the murder of a word.”

[ in-kyoo-nab-yuh-luh ]

Incunabula means a work of art, which also includes books (well why shouldn’t it). It is usually used to describe the work of art in its early stages of development, so a soon to be classic work of literature could be descibed as an Incunabula early on in the writing phase.

Incunabula also refers to any book printed before 1501.

“Incunable” is the anglicised singular form of “incunabula“, Latin for “swaddling clothes” or “cradle“, which can refer to “the earliest stages or first traces in the development of anything.”[

[ ee-pe-ol-at-tree ]

Epeolatry means ‘the worship of words’.

Its first known user, and presumably its creator, was Oliver Wendell Holmes, in his Professor at the Breakfast Table

“Time, time only, can gradually wean us from our Epeolatry, or word-worship, by spiritualizing our ideas of the thing signified.”

It derives from Greek epos, a word, plus the -latry ending from Greek latreia, worship.

[ ver·bee·vohr ]

Verbivore is a word for someone who ‘devours’ or ‘feasts’ on words. It also means someone who has an enjoyment of words and wordplay.

Verbivore comes from Latin verbum ‎(“word”) and vorō ‎(“devour”) and was coined in the early 1980s by American author Richard Lederer.