Bibliophilia is the love of books. Accordingly a bibliophile loves books, but especially "for qualities of format." A "bookworm" loves books for their content, or otherwise loves reading in general. Bibliophilia is generally considered to be an incorrect, but some would say it is a new, recent, usage. 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 nurturing 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, and expensive books, first editions, books with special or unusual bindings, autographed copies, etc.Fact|date=June 2008


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. [ [ Library of Congress] ]
The New York Public Library follows the same practice. [ [ New York Public library search] ]


According to Arthur H. Minters the "private collecting of books was a fashion indulged in by many Romans, including Cicero and Atticus." [cite book
title=Collecting Books for Fun and Profit
first=Arthur H.
location=New York
publisher=Arco Publishing Inc.
] The British Prime Minister Gladstone was known to have been a bibliophile. The term entered the English language in 1824, according to the Merriam-Webster's reference below. 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.Fact|date=June 2008



Futher Reading

Basbanes, Nicholas A. (1995) "A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books". Henry Holt and Company, Inc.

ee also

*Antiquarian book trade in the United States
*Book collecting
*Club of Odd Volumes
*Grolier Club
*Infornography - the phenomenon of addiction to information
*-philia (for other technical terms of obsession)
*Read or Die — an anime involving a world obsessed with books

External links

* [ Forbes article on bibliomania by Finn-Olaf Jones, December 12, 2005]

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