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Bibliophiles: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bibliophilia is the love of books. Accordingly a bibliophile is an individual who loves books, especially "for qualities of format." A bookworm loves books for their content, or otherwise loves reading. Bibliophilia is generally considered to be an incorrect usage; but some would merely call it a recent one. The practice of loving or collecting books is dubbed bibliophilism, and the adjective form of the term is bibliophilic. Also, a bibliophile may be a book collector.



The classic bibliophile is one who loves to read, admire and collect books, often amassing a large and specialised collection. Bibliophiles do not necessarily want to possess the books they love; an alternative would be to admire them in old libraries. However, the bibliophile is usually an avid book collector, sometimes pursuing scholarship in the collection, sometimes putting form above content with an emphasis on old, rare, or expensive books, first editions, books with special or unusual bindings, autographed copies, etc.[citation needed]

Usage of the term

Bibliophilia is not to be confused with bibliomania, an obsessive-compulsive disorder involving the collecting of books to the point where social relations or health are damaged, and in which the mere fact that an object is a book is sufficient for it to be collected or loved. Some use the term "bibliomania" interchangeably with "bibliophily" and in fact, the Library of Congress does not use the term "bibliophily," but rather refers its readers to either book collecting or bibliomania.[1] The New York Public Library follows the same practice.[2]


According to Arthur H. Minters the "private collecting of books was a fashion indulged in by many Romans, including Cicero and Atticus."[3] The British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone was known to have been a bibliophile. The term entered the English language in 1824.[4] It is to be distinguished from the much older notion of a bookman (which dates back to 1583), which is one who loves books, and especially reading; more generally, a bookman is one who participates in writing, publishing, or selling books.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Library of Congress
  2. ^ New York Public library search
  3. ^ Minters, Arthur H. (1979). Collecting Books for Fun and Profit. New York: Arco Publishing Inc.. ISBN 0-668-04598-1,. 
  4. ^ Merriam-Webster: bibliophile
  5. ^ Merriam-Webster: bookman


Further reading

  • Perales, Contreras Jaime (2007) "The Value of Literature", Magazine Americas, June 2007
  • Basbanes, Nicholas A. (1995) A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books, Henry Holt and Company, Inc.
  • Richard de Bury (1902). The love of books: the Philobiblon translated by E. C. Thomas. London: Alexander Moring
  • Rugg, Julie (2006). A Book Addict's Treasury. London: Frances Lincoln ISBN 0 7112 2685 7

External links



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