Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Twelve Weird Words Every Bibliophile Should Know

When bibliomaniacs meet Lexima, the goddess of words, they often, like the present writer, become leximaniacs as well, always on the prowl for strange and curious words to fertilize conversation, season prose, or just delight with their weirdness. And if the word is book-related, heaven.

Biblioclasm: Destruction of books.

Biblioclast: One who mutilates or destroys books.

Bibliogony: The art of producing and publishing books.

Biblioklept: One who steals books.

Bibliolatry: Extravagant devotion to or dependence upon books.

Bibliomancy: Fortunetelling by random Bible-passage picking.

Bibliopegy: Bookbinding.

Bibliophage: An ardent reader; a bookworm.

Bibliopolist: A rare book dealer. Also: Bibliopole.

Bibliotaph: One who hoards or hides books.

Bibiotherapy: The use of reading as an ameliorative adjunct to therapy.

Bibliotics: The analysis of handwriting and documents, esp. to authenticate authorship.


And the same words defined by Booktryst:

Biblioclasm: A book catastrophe, i.e. any book written by worst film director of all time, Ed Wood.

Biblioclast: One who reads books that attack established beliefs or institutions.

Bibliogony: The pain associated with free time and no book to read.

Biblioklept: A person named after a book, i.e. Jay Gatsby Lipschitz. From: biblio + yclept (named).

Bibliolatry: Worship of Biblios, the God of Reading.

Bibliomancy: A light romance and/or fancy for a particular book.

Bibliopegy: The highest point in a book's sales arc.

Bibliophage: One who eats books for breakfast while reading the cereal box.

Bibliopolist: A dealer trying to corner the market for a particular rare book.

Bibliopole: Stage prop used by nude dancers who read books while performing.

Bibliotaph: Tombstone inscription for book lovers, i.e. "He died with his books on."

Bibliotherapy: What bibliophiles have been engaging in since birth into a depressing world.

Bibliotics: The art of reading with your ears.

Of related interest:
New Book On Weird Words Is An Enchiridion.
New Online Dictionary For Word Mavens.

We invite readers to post their own weird book-related words with standard definitions and, if so inclined, their own.


  1. You can find an absolutely comprehensive list of all words beginning in "bibl-" in The Whole Library Handbook 3 (ALA, 2000), pp. 500-505.

  2. I've always loved the French word for library: bibliotheque. I picture Studio 54 with better reading light.

  3. Perhaps we need a "bib"-liocloth as something for people who drool while reading books?

  4. Very cool! I particularly like the first definition for Bibliomancy, since I know people who do that. It made me laugh out loud. I think I may be a Bibliotaph: One who hoards books. There's no 12-step program for it.

  5. Not a bad list. Thanks so much for this. :)

  6. Do you mind if I post a link to your blog on my blog. I am looking for good blogs I can high light as I am not writing my blog right now and would like to keep it going

    Rhyan Birch

  7. Yes, Rhyan, go ahead an post with credit and link. With thanks, SJG

  8. Wow. This is so cool :) Bibliophage is pretty amusing, one definition is bookworm and the other is a person who eats books for breakfast. Cool :)


Subscribe to BOOKTRYST by Email