You may know that bibulousness is the state or quality of being bibulous, and bibulous (from Latin bibere) is ‘characterized by drinking’ – and by “drinking” we mean alcohol, generally. You may also know the Greek root biblio- relating to books, as in bibliophile, ‘book lover’. But did you know the word biblious or its derivative bibliousness?

Yes, that’s right. Biblious means ‘characterized by reading books’, and bibliousness is the state or quality of, well, being someone who reads (or, at the very least, acquires with the intention of reading, OK?) books, books, and more books.

And yes, I’m going to say that if you read books professionally (as I do – read them and edit them), that counts too. But there’s something special about having the printed volumes, isn’t there? Something about the feel, the look, the smell… you can just drink it in, so to speak. Or, um, so to read, anyway.

I am definitely a biblious person. I grew up in a house with about two thousand books (I counted), and here is a view of where I live now (I’m sitting in that chair as I write this):

I suspect that you, too, dear reader, are biblious. It seems likely that anyone who likes the taste of words also enjoys the taste (and presence) of books.

Bibliousness is a wonderful thing (at least I think so, and so does my wife), and it’s a wonderful word, and yet somehow, if you look in dictionaries or online, you won’t find it… until now. Yes, it’s a new old word, but it truly has always existed and was just waiting for its moment. What about bibliophile? That’s someone who loves books, That’s someone who loves books, but just as there’s a distinciton between, say, an oenophile and someone who’s bibulous, there’s a distinction between a bibliophile and someone who’s biblious.

And if you object to the mixing of Greek and Latin roots, well, macaroni to you. Go read a book.

One response to “bibliousness

  1. Nicely done and yes, one entire wall downstairs consists of bookshelves, with books in several languages. My office has bookshelves on two sides, my bedroom on one. I don’t keep what I call airline books. During quarantine and isolation boredom had little chance to rear its ugly head.

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