That’s definitely the crucial question at the moment in this neck of the woods, as Mount TBR grows ever large and more unstable…

bookworm by Carl_Spitzweg_021
I’ve obviously demonstrated the fact that I’m unable to stop buying books but has my love for the printed word got out of hand?! Wikipedia provides the following definitions:

Bibliomania
(Not to be confused with bibliophilia)

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. One of several unusual behaviors associated with books, bibliomania is characterized by the collecting of books which have no use to the collector nor any great intrinsic value to a genuine book collector. The purchase of multiple copies of the same book and edition and the accumulation of books beyond possible capacity of use or enjoyment are frequent symptoms of bibliomania.

Bibliophilia

Bibliophilia or bibliophilism is the love of books. Accordingly a bibliophile is an individual who loves books. A bookworm (sometimes pejorative) is someone who loves books for their content, or who otherwise loves reading. A bibliophile may be, but is not necessarily, a book collector. 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.[

Hmmm. Well, assuming we accept those definitions, I think I’m safe in saying that I’m *not* a maniac! I’m pretty sure my social relations and my health are *not* damaged by my love of books, and the ones I collect certainly have a use – I read a lot of them! I’d quibble with a couple of things though – if you love a book very much you might well want to have several copies (Simon T, I’m looking at you, and I’m equally guilty of this myself!) Likewise, I would say that bibliophiles most often *do* want to possess a copy of the books they love. But I feel a little reassured – I don’t think I’m lapsing into mania yet!! So how about you? What’s *your* book collecting habit like? πŸ™‚

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