Biblioamorapathy. Adjective, though in some especially sneaky cases, functions as a noun. Derived from the Latin roots “biblio,” meaning book, “amora,” meaning love and “pathy,” to feel. Defined as the special sort of giddy feeling one gets after checking out a particularly large stack of books from the local library, or happening across a dirt-cheap box of yellowed, dog-eared, paperback novels at a yard sale –– the kind of yard sale held in a desperate attempt to exhume a home of all its oddities. It’s the painting of a poppy field in Marseille whose colors bleed so finely together under the fluorescence of display, yet seem so entirely out of place on the blank wall above the couch in the living room; spider web-fractured holiday-themed mugs gifted by friends who were now nothing more than strangers exchanging tight-lipped smiles. A feeling that comes from the beautiful realization that the book forced upon you by your world literature teacher, with indiscernible brown stains in its margins and blue arrows and circles around seemingly meaningless words left by students past, ultimately proved itself to be the kind of book you found yourself counting hours, minutes and seconds until the next encounter. Biblioamorapathy, in its entirety, is a feeling of pure elation –– one that has never been defined before in any kind of classical dictionary, thesaurus or new-age search engine that interprets popular slang for Generation X. 

Though in order to truly define biblioamorapathy, or any other word for that matter, we must trace its origins, obtain a sound understanding of all its varying contexts and tenses, so that when we finally do put it into writing, in extensively detailed research papers, in beasts of literary works conceived in the most peculiar of ways –– perhaps while standing up, in the shower, writing in exclusively bright pink ink — we know in our hearts that we have done the word proper justice. I first became acquainted with biblioamorapathy the minute I learned to read; I found it intertwined within anecdotes on the backs of cereal boxes in seizure-inducing color palettes, no doubt an attempt to distract from the potential health implications that would soon arise from the sheer amount of saturated fats. I found it in “Fun with Dick and Jane,” in the boyish exploits of “Frog and Toad,” later in the home I created at Hogwarts alongside Harry Potter, and soon after in the gardens of the Brontë sisters and Dante’s journey through Inferno. 

Biblioamorapathy manifests itself in a multitude of ways –– the most common a telltale nagging itch that tickles the pit of your stomach and soon diffuses into your bloodstream, seeping into the folds of your grey matter, coating the endings of your nerves, so that in due time, every fiber of your body begins to vibrate with an unseen force of belligerent joy. The only remedy is immediate exposure to the half-finished book splayed on your bedroom floor, the novel with a department store coupon for a bookmark in the recesses of your bag vehemently demanding to be read. Biblioamorapathy is a learned sensation, devoid of any innate predisposition, born from the ability to love books and be loved by books. While often mistaken for heart problems, indigestion, or Langston Hughes-esque weary blues, it’s important to understand that  biblioamorapathy isn’t a complication but rather a gift endowed upon the lucky few of the world.

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