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Jun 12, 2000
This week's theme
Words about booklovers

This week's words
bibliophage
bibliophile
bibliolater
bibliotaph
biblioklept
bibliophobe
biblioclast

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

So many books, so little time! Do you find yourself muttering these words as you browse the shelves in a library or a bookstore? Rest assured, you are not alone in your love of books. It was the Dutch writer Desiderius Erasmus who once said, "When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes."

This fondness for books has a wide range. At the extreme, books have been ascribed as the motive behind murders (Don Vicente, a Spaniard, killed as many as eight people to acquire a book in 1836), and there have been thieves who steal only books (Stephen Blumberg of the US, stole precious books worth millions of dollars from hundreds of university libraries during the 1970s and 80s, all for his own pleasure, not for resale).

While we can't arrange them in a scientific table reflecting severity, this week's progression presents words in increasing order of affinity for books. Finally, to round things out, at the end we'll feature a couple of words for people who don't share that love. So leaf through this week's words and drop me a line about where your bibliomania falls within this spectrum.

bibliophage

(BIB-lee-uh-fayj) Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

noun: An ardent reader; a bookworm.

[Biblio- book + -phage one that eats.]

"A thousand facts crowd the mind of the bibliophage narrator who recites fragments--proper names, book titles, writerly quirks--at a dizzying clip."
Sybil Steinberg, et al.; PW's Best Books; Publishers Weekly; Nov 1996.

X-Bonus

God gives every bird his worm, but he does not throw it into the nest. -Swedish proverb


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