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The Proper Care and Feeding of Bibliophiles

August 14, 2017

Bibliophile: noun. A person who collects or has a great love of books.

Bibliophilia: noun. Intense love for the written word in the form of books.

Note: Bibliophilia can be spread simply through interaction with other bibliophiles. If you have been affected, please share this article with your loved ones and housemates in order to prevent any bibliophilia-related disasters or emergencies.

Congratulations! You are now the caretaker of a bibliophile. This bibliophile may be your spouse, your child, your roommate, or even yourself.

If you have never cared for a bibliophile before, don’t worry. By following the instructions in this article, you can ensure that your bibliophile feels safe and comfortable in your care.

Do Not Disturb Bibliophiles in Lectio

A bibliophile’s most common state of being is in lectio, i.e. reading. When your bibliophile is in lectio, you must be cautious when approaching them. A bibliophile in lectio may not be aware of your approach, and they are prone to react with fear or even violence if disturbed.

If you must approach a bibliophile in lectio, make some natural noises such as footsteps or closing a door. Bibliophiles will also respond to offerings of the correct food or drinks, as we’ll discuss below.

Use Caution Near Bookstores

When out with your bibliophile, it’s important that you are aware of all nearby bookstores. Your bibliophile’s liber sensus, or book sense, enables them to easily find bookstores in any mall or shopping center, and they will likely notice such locations before you do.Books are stacked all around the room in a dimly lit used book store. It is a paradise for bibliophiles.

If this happens, your bibliophile will do everything in their power to steer you towards the bookstore, including, but not limited to, the following behaviors:

  • Manipulation
  • Grabby hands
  • Distress
  • Coercion

The best way to prevent these behaviors is to preempt them. You must distract the bibliophile so they do not notice the bookstore. If they spot it, you may be able to temporarily calm them by promising a return to the bookstore at a later date. Be prepared to follow through with this promise, because a bibliophile is not likely to forget and may grow to resent you if their bookstore needs are not filled.

Provide Food and Drink

When your bibliophile is in lectio, they will likely neglect to feed and water themselves. During this time, you will need to supply your bibliophile with their preferred foods and drinks.

One of the surest ways to determine your bibliophile’s preferences is to observe them at a safe distance. Left undisturbed, a bibliophile will often make their way to the kitchen and idly graze, book in hand. Make a note of your bibliophile’s preferred food and drink options so that they can be adequately fed during lectio or when there are strangers in the house (bibliophiles are often very shy creatures).

Bibliophiles tend to prefer foods that are easy to eat with one hand but that do not make a mess of their fingers. Baby carrots or salted (not buttered) popcorn are safe options that won’t stain book pages.

When hydrating your bibliophile, it’s also important to make sure that they receive adequate caffeine. Your bibliophile will have a preferred caffeinated beverage, though coffee and tea are common favorites.

Understand Novus Liber

The most important phase of a bibliophile’s life is novus liber: the new book phase. During novus liber, you must be prepared to handle your bibliophile’s needs. There are two types of novus liber to be aware of: novus liber minisculus and novus liber magnus.

Novus Liber Minisculus

The minor new book phase occurs whenever your bibliophile encounters a new novel. They may isolate themselves to read it, but they won’t be unwilling to interact or spend time with you. If you make plans with the bibliophile and gently remind them in advance, you should have no problem getting them to put the book down.

Novus Liber Magnus

The major new book phase may sound intimidating but will almost never be a surprise. When a bibliophile has chosen their favorite book series, they will eagerly anticipate new releases for months or even years. They will make you aware of the date well in advance and may even decorate their den with a countdown calendar.

Do not disturb your bibliophile during novus liber magnus. Your bibliophile will likely isolate themselves during this time and will be unlikely to venture far from their den, so now is a great time to prepare some snacks and favorite drinks.

During this time, your bibliophile will experience great mood swings and outbursts of emotion. You may hear laughter, shouts, or crying. If you must check on your bibliophile, do so politely. Do not condescend or imply that their emotional response is unwarranted.

A Final Note of Caution

Bibliophilia is contagious. As your bibliophile becomes comfortable in your presence, they will suggest novels and book series that you may enjoy. To follow these recommendations is a sign of respect and trust among bibliophiles but can also lead to developing symptoms of bibliophilia. If you choose to read, do so with caution.

With the help of this guide, you will be more prepared to care for the bibliophile in your life. Good luck!


By Amber Tapahe

Amber has been at Boostability for four years. She’s Boostability’s resident yogi and coordinates the twice-weekly yoga group. She enjoys podcasts, TV shows, and working on her ever-changing bullet journal.

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