Recently, I thought about why I love books so much. Was it from the scarcity of books in my childhood due to poverty? Or perhaps the household ban on library books because mom was tired of paying fines for overdue or lost books for the previous 6 siblings? Is it from the companionship that a shelf full of books provided me during my isolated nights during my Peace Corps service? Could it be from the joy of “discovering” classic children’s books when I became an elementary educator? Probably all of the above.
A bibliophile loves books, while a logophile loves words. Which category describes me best? Should there be a distinction? According to the Merriam-Webster Learners Dictionary, “Logophile comes from two Greek roots–logos, meaning “speech, word, reason” and philos, meaning “dear, friendly”…” My love for language led me to become an English language teacher; my love for words led me to study poetry. I’m trilingual, so obviously I love words in other languages, too. Sometimes I just like the way they sound. Take for instance the Italian word for the number 15, quindici (It’s also the name of a town in Italy). Have a listen:
I believe I’m a biblio-logophile because I love both words and books. For example, I just started an online bookstore to pay for my graduate school books. My desk is stacked with books whose value are to be determined. I’m having fun learning the bookseller’s vocabulary such as foxing, endpapers, fronticepiece, and fore edges. Collecting rare and unique books has broadened my knowledge of important writers and illustrators across disciplines. I love finding out what makes each book unique.
Now that I’ve made my first sales, I’m excited about sharing the love of books with others. My first customer wanted to know the story behind a book in my collection. Only a bibliophile would want to hear a story about a book’s ownership and provenance. I was thrilled to provide him with the details. What about you? Are you more of bibliophile or a logophile? Visit Teacherrogers Bookstore in your pursuit of knowledge, treasures, or for the love of words.