Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bibliomania - Bibliophilia - Bookworm

Bibliomania - Bibliophilia - Bookworm - Bibliography
What is the difference between these terms?

Bibliomania is a love of and for books. So are Bibliophily and Bookworm and Bibliography.

Well actually Wikipedia says that Bibliomania is an OBSESSION with books

Bibliomania is an obsessive–compulsive disorder involving the collecting or hoarding of books to the point where social relations or health are damaged. One of several psychological disorders associated with books, bibliomania is characterized by the collecting of books which have no use to the collector nor any great intrinsic value to a genuine book collector. The purchase of multiple copies of the same book and edition and the accumulation of books beyond possible capacity of use or enjoyment are frequent symptoms of bibliomania.

Bibliomania is not to be confused with Bibliophily, which is the usual love of books and is not considered a clinical psychological disorder.

Bibliophilia is the love of books. Accordingly a bibliophile is an individual who loves books, especially "for qualities of format." 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.


A Bookworm loves books for their content, or otherwise loves reading.

A Bibliomanic doesnt collect books? Of course they do. They just collect any books they can lay their hands on. The Bibliophilic only collects books in certain areas of interest. The Bookworm collects books that they want to read (TBR = To Be Read) or have read.

There are two other terms not mentioned yet - Bibliography and Book Collecting.

Bibliography (from the Greek for "book writing"), as a practice, is the academic study of books as physical, cultural objects. In this sense, it is also known as bibliology. On the whole, bibliography is not concerned with the literary content of books, but rather the "bookness" of books.

Book Collecting is the collecting of books, including seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining whatever books are of interest to a given individual collector. The love of books is bibliophilia, and someone who loves to read, admire, and collect books is a bibliophile. Bibliophilia is sometimes called bibliomania but should not be confused with the obsessive-compulsive disorder by that name, which involves the excessive accumulation and hoarding of books. The term bookman, which once meant a studious or scholarly man, now means one who writes, edits, publishes, or sells books. A book dealer is one whose profession is the buying and reselling of rare or used books.

True book collecting is distinct from casual book ownership and the accumulation of books for reading. It can probably be said to have begun with the collections of illuminated manuscripts, both commissioned and second-hand, by the elites of Burgundy and France in particular, which became common in the 15th century.

With the advent of printing with movable type books became considerably cheaper, and book collecting received a particular impetus in England and elsewhere during the Reformation when many monastic libraries were broken up, and their contents often destroyed. There was an English antiquarian reaction to Henry VIII's dissolution of the Monasteries. The commissioners of Edward VI plundered and stripped university, college, and monastic libraries, so to save books from being destroyed, those who could began to collect them.


I dont much like the terms Bibliophilic or Bibliophily.
They are too close to -philia and that reminds me of pedophilia.
I prefer the title of Bookworm. I grew up being called a Bookworm.

I apologise for going on about this topic, but I have become MILDLY obsessed since I started doing the Bibliophilic Challenge.

I even found a Bibliomania Bookshelf index page at the Gutenberg Project and yesterday I read a couple of old books on the topic of books. Both were originally published in 1922.

And I have a Historia Books blog where I post interesting pictures of old books. While it has been quiet of late, I have now started posting to it again.

1 comment:

Violette Severin said...

Uh oh! I have all the symptoms of bibliomania except for the buying multiple copies of the same book.