Bibliophilia or bibliophilism is the love of books, and a bibliophile or bookworm is an individual who loves and frequently reads books, though bookworm is sometimes used pejoratively.


The classic bibliophile is one who loves to read, admire and collect books, often amassing a large and specialized collection. Bibliophiles usually possess books they love or that hold special value as well as old editions with unusual bindings, autographed, and/or illustrated copies.[1]

Usage of the term

Bibliophilia is not to be confused with bibliomania, a potential symptom of obsessive–compulsive disorder involving the collecting of books to the extent that interpersonal relations or health may be negatively affected, and in which the mere fact that a physical object is a book is sufficient for it to be collected or beloved. 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]

Lord Spencer and the Marquess of Blandford were noted bibliophiles. "The Roxburghe sale quickly became a foundational myth for the burgeoning secondhand book trade, and remains so to this day"; this sale is memorable due to the competition between "Lord Spencer and the marquis of Blandford [which] drove [the price of a probable first edition of Boccaccio's Decameron up to the astonishing and unprecedented sum of £2,260".[7] J. P. Morgan was also a noted bibliophile. In 1884, he paid $24,750 for a 1459 edition of the Mainz Psalter.[8]

See also

Similar terms


  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. ISBN 0-668-04598-1.
  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. doi:10.1525/rep.2000.71.1.01p00764.
  8. ^ Basbanes, Nicholas (1995). A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books. New York: Henry Holt.


Further reading

External video
Booknotes interview with Nicholas Basbanes on A Gentle Madness, October 15, 1995, C-SPAN
  • Basbanes, Nicholas A. (1995) A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books, Henry Holt and Company, Inc.
  • Bulletin du Bibliophile (in French), ISSN 1770-7099 1834- [1]. Since 1963 published by the Association Internationale de Bibliophilie.[2]
  • Richard de Bury (1902). The love of books: The Philobiblon translated by E. C. Thomas. London: Alexander Moring
  • Rugg, Julie (2006). A Book Addict's Treasury. London: Frances Lincoln ISBN 0-7112-2685-7
  • Thomas Frognall Dibdin (1809). Bibliomania. New York, Henry G. Bohn.
  • Andrew Lang (1881). The Library. London, Macmillan & Co.
  • Stebbins, Robert A. (2013). The Committed Reader: Reading for Utility, Pleasure, and Fulfillment in the Twenty-First Century. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow.

External links

84 Charing Cross Road (film)

84 Charing Cross Road is a 1987 British-American drama film directed by David Jones. The screenplay by Hugh Whitemore is based on a play by James Roose-Evans, which itself was an adaptation of the 1970 epistolary memoir of the same name by Helene Hanff, a compilation of letters between herself and Frank Doel dating from 1949 to 1968. The play has only two characters, but the dramatis personae for the film were expanded to include Hanff's Manhattan friends, the bookshop staff and Doel's wife Nora.


Bibliomania can be a symptom of obsessive–compulsive disorder which involves the collecting or even hoarding of books to the point where social relations or health are damaged.

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

Bibliomania (book)

Bibliomania; or Book Madness was first published in 1809 by the Reverend Thomas Frognall Dibdin (1776–1847). Written in the form of fictional dialogues from bibliophiles, it purports to outline a malady called bibliomania.

Dibdin was trained and practiced as an Anglican clergyman. The founder of the Roxburghe Club of book lovers, unofficial librarian of the Spencer collection, and a flawed but prolific bibliographer, Dibdin was perhaps the genesis behind the bibliophilic neurosis that afflicted the British upper classes in the Romantic period. His Bibliomania; or Book Madness was first published in 1809, as a series of dialogues which together comprised a kind of dramatized mock pathology, lavishly illustrated and, in the second edition, embellished with extensive footnotes on bibliography and the history of book collecting. The "symptoms" exhibited by the various characters in Dibdin's eccentric book, common enough amongst the affluent collectors of his acquaintance, included an obsession with uncut copies, fine paper or vellum pages, unique copies, first editions, black letter books, illustrated copies, association copies, and condemned or suppressed works. Bibliomania's imaginary conversations made a gentle mockery of Dibdin's aristocratic patrons and fellow collectors.

Boudewijn Büch

Boudewijn Maria Ignatius Büch (14 December 1948 – 23 November 2002) was a Dutch writer, poet and television presenter.

Fahrenheit 451 (1966 film)

Fahrenheit 451 is a 1966 British dystopian drama film directed by François Truffaut and starring Oskar Werner, Julie Christie, and Cyril Cusack. Based on the 1953 novel of the same name by Ray Bradbury, the film takes place in a controlled society in an oppressive future in which the government sends out firemen to destroy all literature to prevent revolution and thinking. This was Truffaut's first colour film as well as his only English-language film. At the 1966 Venice Film Festival, Fahrenheit 451 was nominated for the Golden Lion.

Fahrenheit 451 (2018 film)

Fahrenheit 451 is a 2018 American dystopian drama film written and directed by Ramin Bahrani, based on the book of the same name by Ray Bradbury. It stars Michael B. Jordan, Michael Shannon, Sofia Boutella, Lilly Singh, Grace Lynn Kung and Martin Donovan. Set in a future America, the film follows a "fireman" whose job it is to burn now-illegal books, only to question society after meeting a young woman. After premiering at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, the film aired on HBO on May 19, 2018 to mixed critical reviews.

Hroswitha Club

The Hroswitha Club was a membership-based club of women bibliophiles and collectors based in New York City, active from 1944 to 1999.

Hugo (film)

Hugo is a 2011 historical adventure drama film directed and produced by Martin Scorsese and adapted for the screen by John Logan. Based on Brian Selznick's book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, it tells the story of a boy who lives alone in the Gare Montparnasse railway station in Paris in the 1930s.

Hugo is Scorsese's first film shot in 3D, of which the filmmaker remarked, "I found 3D to be really interesting, because the actors were more upfront emotionally. Their slightest move, their slightest intention is picked up much more precisely." The film was released in the United States on November 23, 2011.Hugo received critical acclaim and received 11 Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture), more than any other film that year, and won five awards: Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Visual Effects. It was also nominated for eight BAFTAs, winning two of the eight, and was nominated for three Golden Globe awards, earning Scorsese his third Golden Globe Award for Best Director. Despite this, the film was a commercial failure, grossing $185 million against its $150–$170 million budget.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (also simply known as A Series of Unfortunate Events) is a 2004 American gothic dark comedy film directed by Brad Silberling. It is a film adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, covering the first three novels The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, and The Wide Window. The film stars Jim Carrey, Liam Aiken, Emily Browning, Timothy Spall, Catherine O'Hara, Billy Connolly, Cedric the Entertainer, Luis Guzmán, Jennifer Coolidge and Meryl Streep, as well as Jude Law as Lemony Snicket (the pen name of American writer Daniel Handler).

Nickelodeon Movies purchased the film rights to Daniel Handler's book series in 2000 and soon began development of a film with Barry Sonnenfeld attached to direct. Handler adapted the screenplay and courted Jim Carrey for Count Olaf. Sonnenfeld eventually left over budget concerns in January 2003 and Brad Silberling took over. Robert Gordon rewrote Handler's script, and principal photography started in November 2003. A Series of Unfortunate Events was entirely shot using sound stages and backlots at Paramount Pictures and Downey Studios. The film received positive reviews, with many praising Carrey's performance, while some criticized its comical tone. The film also grossed $209 million worldwide, and won the Academy Award for Best Makeup.


Montolieu is a commune in the Aude department in southern France.

Sometimes referred to as "Village of Books", Montolieu contains fifteen bookshops, mostly specializing in second-hand and antiquarian books. Many artists also live and work in Montolieu, with five workshops and galleries of painters and sculptors and three photographers' studios. It also contains a substantial cactus garden, the Cactuseraie d'Escaïre-Figue.

In 1989, Michel Braibant, a bookbinder in Carcassonne, initiated the Village of the Book in Montolieu. He created the Association « Montolieu Village du Livre », and founded the Arts and Crafts Museum of the Book.

-Starting in 1991, bookshops and craftpersons of the book such as bookbinders and calligraphers set up shop in Montolieu.

-A museum is created, le "Musée des Arts et Métiers du Livre"

-The Paper Mill in Brousse is restored and reactivated.

-Periodical cultural events are organized, such as "The Spring of Books", "Lire en Fête" and "Cuvée spéciale"

-Nearly fifty buildings were renovated, and about fifteen beds and breakfast progressively opened up.

-In 1992, Montolieu reopened its primary school.

Each year:

-Montolieu welcomes over 52 000 visitors.

-2,000 students from primary and high schools discover our workshops.

Today, Montolieu offers the following:

-Used and antiquarian bookshops

-Working craftspeople of books and art.

-The Arts and Crafts of the Book Museum.

-Graphic and plastic art galleries and expositions.

-Bibliophilia stocks.

-Educational activities around the Book and its craft.

-Many artists, sculptors, painters, photographers and musicians.

-A heritage classified as historical monument.

-An intermunicipal tourism office, from the Cabardes to the Canal du Midi.

Since its creation, Montolieu Village du Livre has facilitated the continuation and development of many shops and services, allowing its economy and employment to thrive.

These include:

Bars, restaurants, coffee shops and bed-and-breakfast places. A market place, a tobacco/newspaper store, a baker, a hairdresser. A pre-school and a primary school. Doctors and a drugstore. A swimming pool, a campsite, tennis courts, and a soccer field. Some organic farmers, and an organic vegetable vending machine. And fifteen bookstores, seven artists' workshops and seven craftspeople of the book. The population of the village is eight hundred.

National Union of Bibliophiles

The National Union of Bibliophiles (NUB), full name Non-Commercial Partnership “The National Union of Bibliophiles” (Russian: Некоммерческое партнерство “Национальный союз библиофилов”), is a public organisation, an association of bibliophiles of the Russian Federation. It was formed as legal entity in 2010.

Pro knigi

Pro Knigi (About Books) (Russian: Про книги. Журнал библиофила) – is a quarterly educational magazine that contains information about old books, the study thereof, the history of bibliophiles and the problems of book-collecting. It has been published in Moscow since 2007. The circulation of the magazine is about 2000 copies. It is distributed both by retail and subscription.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a 2011 animated short film directed by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, and produced by Moonbot Studios in Shreveport, Louisiana. Described as an "allegory about the curative powers of story," the film centers on bibliophile Lessmore and his custodianship of a magical library of flying books. It was created using computer animation, miniatures and traditional hand-drawn techniques.After winning over a dozen film festivals, the film was awarded the Best Animated Short Film at the 84th Academy Awards. An official iPad app based on the film was also released in the Apple App Store. This however requires updating as it does not work with the current iOS. A book adaptation was released in late 2012.

The Great Book-Collectors

The Great Book-Collectors was an 1893 book by British author Charles Isaac Elton. It deals with bibliophilia and bibliomania.

The book is generally available online rather than in original in major collections.

The Jane Austen Book Club (film)

The Jane Austen Book Club is a 2007 American romantic drama film written and directed by Robin Swicord. The screenplay, adapted from the 2004 novel of the same name by Karen Joy Fowler, focuses on a book club formed specifically to discuss the six novels written by Jane Austen. As they delve into Austen's literature, the club members find themselves dealing with life experiences that parallel the themes of the books they are reading.

The Name of the Rose (film)

The Name of the Rose is a 1986 Italian-French-German mystery historical drama film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, based on the book of the same name by Umberto Eco. Sean Connery stars as the Franciscan friar William of Baskerville and Christian Slater is his apprentice Adso of Melk; the former being called upon to solve a deadly mystery in a medieval abbey.

The Ninth Gate

The Ninth Gate is a 1999 mystery thriller film directed, produced, and co-written by Roman Polanski. An international co-production between the United States, Portugal, France, and Spain, the film is loosely based upon Arturo Pérez-Reverte's 1993 novel The Club Dumas. The plot involves the search for a rare and ancient book that purportedly contains a magical secret for summoning the Devil. The premiere showing was at San Sebastián, Spain, on 25 August 1999, a month before the 47th San Sebastian International Film Festival. Though critically and commercially unsuccessful in North America, where reviewers compared it unfavorably with Polanski's supernatural film Rosemary's Baby (1968), The Ninth Gate earned a worldwide gross of $58.4 million against a $38 million budget.

Time Enough at Last

"Time Enough at Last" is the eighth episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. The episode was adapted from a short story written by Lynn Venable (pen name of Marilyn Venable). The short story appeared in the January 1953 edition of the science fiction magazine If: Worlds of Science Fiction about seven years before the television episode first aired. "Time Enough at Last" became one of the most famous episodes of the original Twilight Zone and has been frequently parodied since. It is "the story of a man who seeks salvation in the rubble of a ruined world" and tells of Henry Bemis (), played by Burgess Meredith, who loves books, yet is surrounded by those who would prevent him from reading them. The episode follows Bemis through the post-apocalyptic world, touching on such social issues as anti-intellectualism, the dangers of reliance upon technology, and the difference between aloneness (solitude) and loneliness.

You've Got Mail

You've Got Mail is a 1998 American romantic comedy film starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, directed by Nora Ephron, and co-written by Nora and Delia Ephron, inspired by the play Parfumerie by Miklós László. The film is about two people in an online romance who are unaware that they are also business rivals. It marks the third coupling of Hanks and Ryan, who had previously appeared together in Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993).

You've Got Mail received mildly positive reviews from critics.


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