Bibliomaniac or Bibliophile?

I just came across this little aside in Developing Library and Information Center Collections by G. Edward Evans and Margaret Zarnosky Saponaro, which I am reading for my collection development class: “If there is a bibliographic equivalent of alcoholism, many librarians have it.” The following sentence cites the Random House Dictionary’s definition of bibliomania: an “excessive fondness for acquiring and possessing books.” Note it doesn’t mention an excessive (or obsessive) fondness for reading books. It must be a fine line, because (also based on the Random House Dictionary) defines the more tranquil bibliophile as “a person who loves or collects books, especially as examples of fine or unusual printing, binding, or the like.” For more on the topic, I highly recommend Allison Hoover Bartlett’s excellent The Man Who Loved Books Too Much.

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