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Dec 12, 2022
This week’s theme
Words related to books

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with Anu Garg

Just as temperatures were dipping below freezing (28° F, -2° C), here in the Seattle area, my furnace quit. I looked in Yelp. Called three HVAC companies with five-star reviews. One had appointments available two weeks later, the second the next month, and the third was not taking new customers.

Well, I figured, the next few weeks I’ll just stay under covers with a bunch of books and catch up on my reading. Will keep the body and the soul warm at the same time.

Then I lowered my standards. Called a company that had only four-star reviews. They sent a technician the same afternoon. The guy knew his stuff. He replaced a capacitor and the furnace cranked up again. Warmth spread everywhere. All was well.

I handed him a credit card, he gave me a receipt and headed out the door. As he was leaving, he looked at the bookshelves and said, “You have a lot of books.”

I smiled. Too many or not enough? I thought to myself. Then I said, “Well, I’m a writer and if you are a writer chances are you are a reader too.”

I wanted to engage him. Ask him the last book he read. His favorite book. Fiction or nonfiction. And more. Then I realized he was on a mission. People were cold and they’re waiting for him. I thanked him for fixing the furnace.

Then I went back on Yelp and gave him a five-star review.

I hope you are staying warm, or cool, depending on what part of the Earth you are on. We recommend books either way, to keep warm or to help cool down. This week we’ll feature five words related to books and those who write them, sell them, and read them (or not read them).



noun: One who loves to read books; a bookworm.

From Greek biblio- (book) + -phage (one who eats). Earliest documented use: 1881. Another form of the word is bibliophage.

“Birkerts has always been a bibliophagist, from his early days roaming in The Jungle Book and adventuring with the Hardy Boys and James Bond, and he recognizes one of his life’s great fortunes -- to be able to read and write both for pleasure and profit.”
Books for the Ages; Kirkus Reviews (Austin, Texas); Nov 15, 2006.

Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work. -Gustave Flaubert, novelist (12 Dec 1821-1880)

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