Photo by jeanniet6 via

While clicking around the internet for last week’s post, Bibliophiles vs. Bookworms, I learned a new word. It seems books written about books (and libraries and writing, publishing and collecting and bookselling, etc.) are called Biblios. There’s an infinite variety of them, fiction and non-fiction alike, and they’ve been filling the space on our bookshelves for a long, long time.

Murder in the Bookshop

Diane Plumley is a writer for The Bookshop Blog and is crazy for mystery novels. She’s written a series of posts describing dozens of biblios within the mystery genre. She’s also included a couple of links, one to a list of biblios at Mystery Readers International and, a second, to Bibliomysteries, a whole website devoted completely to them. So, if murder and mystery within the book-world are of interest to you, these lists should keep you in reading material for years to come.

Of course, books about books also exist beyond the world of mysteries. Good Reads features an 354 item list (and counting) of biblios with each entry containing the book jacket blurb, the publishing info, a star rating and reader reviews. They’ve listed children’s books, and adult fiction as well as selections from almost every non-fiction category, which makes for a whole bunch of different reading choices. The Fine Books Magazine blog has a 2010 holiday gift list featuring 50 non-fiction books for bibliophiles, and finishes it up with the 10 best fiction biblios published that year.

Needless to say, these lists are not exhaustive, and with new biblios being published all the time, bibliophiles needn’t worry about having an endless supply!

Bibliophile vs. Bookworm

Old Books
Photo by Melodi2 via
The Bookworm

Bibliophile – from the french, meaning book lover; often a collector; someone who appreciates books for their content, their format, and the materials used in their production. A bibliophile may amass their own collection, or may simply prefer to admire the collections of others i.e. the special collections found in universities, or national libraries. References to book collecting date from the ancient Romans.

Bookworm – 1. an avid reader; someone primarily interested in the content of a book, who may or may not collect books. 2. the larva of a wood-boring beetle that feeds on the paper, and binding paste of books; silverfish. (Note: Mice also eat binding glue which explains why many bookstores house a resident cat.) 3. an electronic game similar to scrabble that will “feed your appetite for words.”

And, just to illustrate the issue – This iconic painting of a bibliophile by Carl Spitzweg is called “The Bookworm.”