23 Words That Every Book Lover Should Integrate Into Their Daily Vocabulary
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Would your friends and family describe you as a bibliobibuli or just an everyday bibliophagist? Do you consider yourself a librocubicultarist whose ballycumbers regularly get in the way of a good night’s rest? Have you ever given into bibliosmia in your local library or favorite bookstore, even when other people were book-browsing nearby? Do you have any idea what I’m talking about? If so, then you’re definitely a serious book lover, with the vocabulary to prove it.

If not, you might want to consider adding some terms to your personal book lover’s dictionary — and this list of words every book lover should know (and use!) is a great place to start. (Especially if you’re a self-proclaimed logophile — aka: lover of words. But you probably already knew that one, amirite?)

From words first found in late 19th century Japan and the 1938 Chicago Dental Society Bulletin, (nope, not kidding,) to the inventions of poets and scholars, to several additions from modern-day book lovers (and a few Urban Dictionary users) the bookish terms on this list are guaranteed elevate any book lovers’ vocabulary.

Here are 23 words that every book lover will want to integrate into their daily vocabulary — or at least into their weekly book club conversation.

1Angsticipation

Giphy

(Noun.) The feeling experienced when you finish the latest book in a series, it ends on a serious cliffhanger, and there isn’t even an estimated publication date for the next book in the series yet.

First known usage: 2014 by Molly Schoemann-McCann, B&N Reads.

2Ballycumber

(Noun.) One of six half-read books lying in your bed.

First known usage: 1983 by writer Douglas Adams in The Meaning of Liff, a humorous dictionary of toponymy and etymology, co-written by Adams and John Lloyd.

3Bibliobibuli

(Noun, plural.) People who read too much.

First known usage: 1957 by American humorist H. L. Mencken.

4Biblioklept

Giphy

(Noun.) A person who steals books.

First known usage: 1881 by Andrew Lang in The Library, an amusing book that examines the craft of book-collecting for the amateur bibliophile.

5Bibliophagist

(Noun.) A person who loves to read books; literally: a devourer of books.

First known usage: 1881 by Andrew Lang, in The Library, an amusing book that examines the craft of book-collecting for the amateur bibliophile.

6Bibliosmia

(Verb.) The act of smelling books, especially as a way of getting a "fix" from the aroma of old tomes.

First known usage: 2014 by Oliver Tearle, HuffPost

7Bookarazzi

Giphy

(Noun.) A book lover who excitedly takes photos of the books they read and posts them online.

Recent usage: 2013 by readingthelines, Urban Dictionary

8Book-bosomed

(Adjective.) Someone who carries a book with them at all times.

First known usage: 1908 Scottish novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott in The Lay of the Last Minstrel.

9Bookklempt

(Adjective.) State of being resulting from the completion of the last book in a series for which there are no more books left, and you are not yet emotionally prepared to begin a new series.

First known usage: 2014 by Molly Schoemann-McCann, B&N Reads.

10Cinereader

Giphy

(Noun.) An individual who’s TBR pile is dictated not by the tides and currents of their interests and curiosities, but by the release schedule in their local cinema. As an article of faith they refuse to watch a film adaptation without reading the source text first. Cinereaders usually have an immense backlog of books and rarely actually visit the cinema.

First known usage: 2013 by Edd McCracken, BookRiot

11Dampstain

(Noun.) A stain left on a cover or pages after having been exposed to water.

Source: What Bookdealers Really Mean: A Dictionary by Tom Congalton and Dan Gregory

12Epeolatry

(Noun.) The worship of words.

First known usage: 1860 by Oliver Wendell Holmes Senior in The Professor at the Breakfast-Table.

13Librocubicultarist

Giphy

(Noun, rare.) A person who reads in bed.

First known usage: 1938 Chicago Dental Society Bulletin

14Logophile

(Noun.) A lover of words.

First known usage: 1923

15Nooked

(Verb.) Transition from believing that e-readers are the spawn of a book-burning devil to realizing they are a lovely and valid way to consume writing.

First known usage: 2013 by Edd McCracken, BookRiot

16Omnilegent

Giphy

(Adjective) Reading, or having read, everything.

First Known Usage: Between 1845 – 1933 by English writer, literary historian, scholar, and critic George Edward Bateman Saintsbury.

17Page-a-vu

(Noun.) The experience of reading a book you’re sure you’ve never read before, but yet feels very familiar.

First known usage: 2014 by Molly Schoemann-McCann, B&N Reads.

18Readgret

(Noun.) The feeling of fury or sadness for putting off reading a certain book until now, when you should have read it years ago.

First known usage: 2014 by Molly Schoemann-McCann, B&N Reads.

19Reading Copy

Giphy

(Noun.) A book that is complete in text and plates, but so badly worn or soiled that in its current condition it is good only for reading, and cannot be considered “collectible”.

Source: What Bookdealers Really Mean: A Dictionary by Tom Congalton and Dan Gregory

20Scrollmate

(Noun.) An author with whom a reader feels a deep connection.

Recent usage: 2015 by Anwesha Maiti, Storypick.com

21Shelfrighteous

(Adjective.) A feeling of superiority about one’s bookshelf

Recent usage: 2015 by Anwesha Maiti, Storypick.com

22Smellbound

Giphy

(Verb.) Captivated by the scent of books. See also: bibliosmia.

Recent usage: 2015 by Anwesha Maiti, Storypick.com

23Tsundoku

(Verb, Japanese.) The act of leaving a book unread after buying it; the condition of acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one's home without reading them.

First usage: unknown; originated as a pun in Japan’s late 19th century Meiji Era (1868-1912).