‘Bibliophile’ is a fancy name for people who love books. It means ‘a person who collects or has a great love of books’.
Bibliophiles are known for their eccentricities and strange behavior. They mostly have a tendency to lock themselves up with a book and forget the real world behind for hours on end. They are also quite sensitive, especially when their precious books are concerned. But existing simultaneously in the real world and in an imaginary world, is not an easy task. So here is a list of some of the most emotional moments for book lovers, which can get their hearts racing. We hope going through this list will aid you in understanding why bibliophiles react the way they do on such occasions!
FINALLY getting hold of a long-awaited book
Non- readers have a hard time figuring out why people stand for days in front of bookstores at the launch of books like the Harry Potter series. But they don’t realize the years of waiting and wondering that bibliophiles go through before finally buying the book. The agony of waiting for a book that you’ve been looking forward to since forever is quite high. Anticipating the character arc, guessing the plot, catching up on the rumor mill and digging out every possible lead to the contents of the book are all exhausting tasks. All this hard work and wait is finally rewarded when the book that they have been waiting for falls in their laps. For book lovers, that is a rare moment of true bliss.
Getting a whiff of that ‘old book’ scent
Ask a book lover what their favorite fragrance is, and they’ll probably tell you about the smell of old books. This may sound weird to most people, but there is a scientific reason for why old books have a particularly alluring scent. They have a sweet smell with notes of vanilla flowers and almonds, which is caused by the breakdown of chemical compounds in the paper. The chemicals responsible for the sweet smell of old paper are benzaldehyde, vanillin, ethyl hexanol, toluene and ethyl benzene. So the next time you find a bibliophile with his/her nose stuck in a book, you’ll know that its not just the smell of sweet pros that is enticing them!
When their favorite character from the book they’re currently reading DIES!
This is actually the most heartbreaking moment for a book lover. The more engrossed they are in a book, the more devastating a character’s death will be. Some people feel like a dear friend has passed away, setting off a period of mourning and moping.
Here is a tip: never, EVER belittle a book lover’s feelings for his/her lost friend (character). It will feel like the ultimate betrayal to them.
When someone criticizes their favourite author/book/genre
Criticism of their beloved writer, book or literary type is the easiest way to irritate a bibliophile. They are very sensitive about their choices. Also, they are likely to have a thousand and one rebukes to any critiques. So even if you disagree with their literary preferences, its better to keep quiet about them… unless you want to engage in a never-ending debate, that is!
Finding out that they have misplaced/lost their favourite book
Well this isn’t exactly a heart-racing moment… it’s a heart-stopping one. Losing or misplacing a book is a huge code red situation for a book lover. It can set off a mammoth-sized panic attack, with them flinging things all around in the quest for their lost book. You’ll get brownie points if you help a bibliophile out in this moment of utter bewilderment.
Finding out someone ‘borrowed’ their books without their permission
Do you know how long it takes a Bugatti to go from 0 to 60 seconds? That’s slower than the time a bibliophile takes to turn from a normal human being to a rampaging monster, when they find out that someone took their book without their permission. A book lover’s collection is his/her kingdom. And like every self-respecting emperor, they guard their kingdom possessively. Trespassing on their kingdom’s boundaries warrants a stern response, at least for them.
Every time they enter a bookstore/ library/ book fair
For a bibliophile, entering a place filled with books is similar to entering a fantasy. The doors of a library are like the gates of Disneyland… only cheaper and minus the long ques. This happiness is multiplied when there is a ‘sale’ sign on the bookstore. Don’t be surprised if you see them burst into an impromptu dance when this happens.
Discovering a hidden gem in the ‘used books’ pile
There is a reason why people used to devote their whole lives in the quest of some mythical treasure. Humans are curious creatures, and who doesn’t like pleasant surprises? For bibliophiles, finding a hidden gem such as a book signed by the author or a first edition copy is no different to finding a hidden treasure. It gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Bumping into a fellow bibliophile
There is a common saying that books are a human’s best friend. But it is even better to befriend those who share one’s love for books. Friendships that are established over a shared passion usually transcend time and physical boundaries. For a bibliophile, coming across others who are as passionate book lovers as they are is a truly delightful moment.
Reading a sentence/passage that they can relate to 100%
Books are a way to communicate the various forms of experiences that humans have. So it is only logical that sometimes, a book might have a sentence or passage that resonates strongly with the readers. Bibliophiles tend to treasure such words. They can highlight them, share them with their friends or even memorize them… just because the words touch them so much.
So now that you know the moments that can make or break a book lover’s heart, you can remain extra careful around them at such crucial times. And if you are a bibliophile, make sure your friends and loved ones read this, so that they can understand your love for books a little better. Happy reading!