35 Expressions Every Bibliophile Should Know

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noun bib·lio·phile \ˈbi-blē-ə-ˌfī(-ə)l\
: a person who loves or collects books

From Merriam-Webster


If you didn’t skip the first few lines of this post, you already know a new word for “book lover” already. But there are more terms and expressions all bookworms, bibliophiles, and passionate reader should know.

Check out these 35 words and expressions a book lover should know and add to his or her vocabulary!


People & Persons

  1. Bibliobibuli – a person who reads too much
  2. Biblioclast – a person who destroys or mutilates books
  3. Bibliognost – a person with extensive knowledge of books
  4. Biblioklept – a person who steals books
  5. Bibliophagist – a person who reads a lot (literally: devours books)
  6. Bibliotaph – a person who hoards and hides books
  7. Book-Bosomed – a person who doesn’t leave the house without carrying a book with them
  8. Librocubicularist – a person who reads in bed
  9. Literarian – a person who’s well-read in literature
  10. Morosph – a learned fool; often someone who talks about things they have no clue about
  11. Ultracrepidarian – a person who criticizes, advises on, or judges topics they have close to no knowledge of


Rhetorical Devices & Kinds Of Literature

  1. Amphigouri – a comic poem compose using a nonsense-language
  2. Aphorism – a short and concise statement that expresses a statement or idea
  3. Bildungsroman – a book revolving around a coming-of-age story; German
  4. Clerihew – a quirky kind of poem, consisting of four lines with the AABB rhyme scheme; named after Edmund Clerihew Bentley
  5. Epistolary – a novel written by using letters, documents, and different kinds of correspondence
  6. Fascicle – an independent part or book in a series
  7. Hamartia – an error or flaw of a book or story’s protagonist that leads to their downfall
  8. Incunable – a piece of writing that was printed (1) before the year 1501
  9. In Medias Res – a way of beginning a story in the middle of the action, revealing the background via back-telling
  10. Malapropism – the act of replacing a correct word in a text with a similar sounding one
  11. Roman À Clef – a piece of fictional work that is really based on real life, masked with the fictional aspect
  12. Synecdoche – a figure of speech in which a term stands for a whole something
  13. Unreliable Narrator – the narrator of a story that misleads the reader to see things the way the narrator wants to, which is not the reflection of the reality in the story


Literary Characters

  1. Byronic Hero – the protagonist of a book that indulges in flawed, disrespectful, or self-destructive behavior and isolates him or herself from the world; named after Lord Byron
  2. Deuteragonist – the second most important character in a book or story
  3. Foil – a secondary character who’s used to emphasize the traits and characteristics of the protagonist
  4. Protagonist – the most important character in a book or story


Other Literary Terms

  1. Bibliolatry – the extraordinary worship of a particular book or story, or books in general
  2. Bowdlerize – the (unnecessary) act of removing parts of or meddling with a text that makes it less strong or even ineffective; named after Thomas Bowdler
  3. Death Of The Author – a term referring to leaving out the author’s intention when interpreting a literary piece
  4. Epeolatry – the worship of words
  5. Finifugal – the act of shunning the end (of a book, movie, etc.)
  6. Libricide – the destruction of books
  7. Tsundoku – the act of buying books, but never reading them; Japanese