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Title: Bibliophilia  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Book collecting, Online dating service, Books/Books topics, Amos Urban Shirk, Grolier Club
Collection: Antiquarian Booksellers, Bibliophiles, Book Collecting, Reading (Process)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Bibliophilia or bibliophilism is the love of books, and a bibliophile is an individual who loves books.


  • Profile 1
  • Usage of the term 2
  • History 3
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8


The classic bibliophile is one who loves to read, admire, and collect books, often amassing a large and specialized collection. Bibliophiles do not necessarily want to possess the books they love; an alternative would be unusual bindings, autographed copies, etc.[1]

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 is 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 to its readers as either book collectors or bibliomaniacs.[2] The New York Public Library follows the same practice.[3]


According to Arthur H. Minters, the "private collecting of books was a fashion indulged in by many Romans, including Cicero and Atticus".[4] The term bibliophile entered the English language in 1824.[5] A bibliophile is to be distinguished from the much older notion of a bookman (which dates back to 1583), who is one who loves books, and especially reading; more generally, a bookman is one who participates in writing, publishing, or selling books.[6]

Mainz Psalter.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Carter, John (1952). ABC for Book Collectors. 
  2. ^ Library of Congress
  3. ^ New York Public library search
  4. ^ Minters, Arthur H. (1979). Collecting Books for Fun and Profit. New York: Arco Publishing Inc.  
  5. ^ Merriam-Webster: bibliophile
  6. ^ Merriam-Webster: bookman
  7. ^ Connell, Philip (2000). "Book Collecting: Cultural Politics, and the Rise of Literary Heritage in Romantic Britain". Representations 71: 24–47.  
  8. ^  


  • Merriam-Webster, Inc. (1996).  

Further reading

External links

  • Forbes article on bibliomania by Finn-Olaf Jones, December 12, 2005
  • , October 15, 1995.A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes and the Eternal Passion for Books interview with Nicholas Basbanes on Booknotes
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