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 Dictionary.com (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.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s