09 February 2009

26 Neologisms for Booklovers

Overuse of words ending in -ly.

Happily accepting cracked spines and dog ears in secondhand books, whilst being fanatical about the condition of books acquired new.

Possessed of the urge to read a book you never knew existed until it was made into a film.

The scraps of paper, old library borrowing slips, unused postcards, etc. left in a book by previous readers.

Choosing a particularly obscure, intellectual, literary, or all of the above book to read while commuting, in order to impress your fellow passengers.

Written in such a convoluted style that by the time you reach the end of a sentence or paragraph, you can’t remember how it started. Or even what it’s about.

To make (often unflattering) assumptions about a book or its reader based on genre.

A female main character so annoyingly backbone-less you can hardly bear to read about her.

To search for and read numerous reviews online before deciding whether or not to read a given book.

The fine art of keeping on top of fourteen library books with three due dates between them, the books you’re reviewing on LibraryThing, the latest book club selection, and the technothriller you borrowed from your brother.

Wanting to buy a book for a friend or relative’s child, but totally clueless as to what might suit.

Lost in quotation
Flipping madly through a book in search of a line or passage whose page number you were sure you’d remember.

The useless jottings left in a book by a previous reader.

Non sequeltur
The act of reading a series out of order.

When looking to buy a particular book, to hold out for an edition with a less hideous cover.

Instinctively wary of any book whose pages are lacking in white space.

The situation in which you find yourself when you have a large TBR pile but nothing to read.

To vent one’s feelings in a scathing review of a book with no merit whatsoever.

To look forward eagerly to reading a much-anticipated book.

The act of slipping a library book into your suitcase, even though you’re certain the library would consider it a cardinal sin to take its property interstate/overseas.

Having 1 copy shared between 33 library branches.

Vagaread of fate
The phenomenon of entering a store in search of one book and leaving with five ... none of them the book you originally intended to purchase.

Wishful rethinking
The conviction that this time you will reach the end of a book that you’ve abandoned, because you’re sure it can’t be as unenjoyable as you remember.

Perfectly happy to read any translation of a foreign work, regardless of what others have to say about its quality.

Sorely tempted to read the books you’ve bought to give as Christmas presents.

A library book borrowed in spite of a large TBR pile, on the grounds that it won’t take long to read.


Dorte H said...


I have to make a list post for my blog improvement project bingo, but so far all my ideas have been pretty boring. Could I borrow yours?
My readers would certainly enjoy that, and I think a good copy is better than a dreary original :)

Eva said...

Loved these! :)

raidergirl3 said...

Did you make these up? They are so awesome.

I just started a game with the same sort of idea, to come up with bookwords that fit a situation. Come by and play, and I hope I'm not taking real ideas or accidentally using some of yours.

Amat Libris said...

Dorte: Thank you! You can borrow it if you like, just include a link back to this post.

Eva: Thanks!

Raidergirl3: Yes, I did invent them, and I'll check out your game and see what other people can come up with.

Chrisbookarama said...

Love it!

For me, Henry James is forgettababble.

Beth F said...

Awesome!! I love these. Super job. Hope we see more.

claire said...

Hahahaha! This is great! I'm so guilty of many things, especially: Bibliocrisy, Optimage, Vagaread, and Ziploan! LOL!

Cathy said...

Guilty as charged to many of these. The links to both your lists have now gone out over Twitter. Hope you don't mind, but I just had to share!

SuziQoregon said...

Love these ;-)

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Header image shows detail of A Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, c. 1776