22 Perfect Words About Books and Reading

Public Domain. Do you read in bed? There's a word for that! (The National Archives)

On National Book Lovers Day, we celebrate the ultimate slow hobby.

August 9th is National Book Lovers Day, a day to put down your phone, shun the television, and celebrate those bound paper relics filled with words. In our crazy, quick-moving, screen-obsessed culture, there is something to be said for the act of finding a comfortable spot and doing little more than turning the pages of a book. Books are magical, portals into whole new worlds – and in this bibliophile's opinion, quite worthy of a day to call their own.

So in honor of the beloved book, we've collected a list of words that we never knew we needed – but that now of course seem indispensable! We've left out a bunch of the cutesy slang terms making the rounds; unless noted, these are bona fide words and most can be found in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

ABIBLIOPHOBIA: The the fear of running out of things to read.
BALLYCUMBER: Coined by writer Douglas Adams, "One of the six half-read books lying somewhere in your bed."
BIBLIOBIBULI: "The sort of people who read too much," created in 1957 by H. L. Mencken.
BIBLIOGNOST: One who has comprehensive knowledge of books.
BIBLIOKLEPT: One who steals books.
BIBLIOLATER: One overly devoted to books.
BIBLIOPHAGIST: An avid or voracious reader.
BIBLIOPOLE: A dealer especially in rare or curious books
BIBLIOSMIA: An unofficial term for the aroma of a book.
BIBLIOTHERAPY: The practice of using books to aid people in solving the issues they are facing.
BOOKARAZZI: Slang for someone who takes photos of their books and posts them online.
BOOK-BOSOMED: Attributed to Sir Walter Scott, meaning someone who carries a book all the time.
BOOK SHELFIE (and library shelfie): A self-portrait with books that is shared on social media.
EPEOLATRY: The worship of words.
HAMARTIA: Aristotle introduced the word in Poetics to describe the error of judgment which brings about a tragic hero's downfall.
LIBROCUBICULARIST: A person who reads books in bed.
LOGOMACHIST: One given to disputes over or about words; one given to logomachy.
LOGOPHILE: If you're a logophile, you already know this means a lover of words.
OMNILEGENT: Reading or having read everything, characterized by encyclopedic reading
PANAGRAM: A short sentence that contains all 26 letters of the English language, as in: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
SCRIPTURIENT: Having a strong urge to write.
TSUNDOKU: And our favorite, a Japanese word describes piling up books to save for later ... even if you'll never actually read them.


MabelAmber / Pixabay/Public Domain

If we've left any out, please add in the comments. And in the meantime, Happy National Book Lovers Day!


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Breyer, Melissa. "22 Perfect Words About Books and Reading." ThoughtCo, Sep. 1, 2021, thoughtco.com/perfect-words-about-books-and-reading-4857373. Breyer, Melissa. (2021, September 1). 22 Perfect Words About Books and Reading. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/perfect-words-about-books-and-reading-4857373 Breyer, Melissa. "22 Perfect Words About Books and Reading." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/perfect-words-about-books-and-reading-4857373 (accessed May 31, 2023).