I think it’s fair to surmise that if you’re reading this, you probably have biblioholic tendencies.  There are many variants of the disease:  bibliomania, bibliophilia, biblionarcissism, bibliowebbism et al.   All of which come under the humourous scrutiny of fellow “sufferer”, Tom Raabe.


If you love books you’ll find yourself in here and, should you be seeking a cure, there are some tips for that too. For the next week, however, I shall be indulging in a spot of collectomania – trying to be moderate in my vice!

As a taster why don’t you take Raabe’s test to diagnose the extent of your own literary addiction?

1. When you go to a bookstore with a friend, are you usually carrying more books when you leave than your friend is?

2. Do you wake up the morning after, unable to remember how many books you bought or how much you spent on them?

3. Do you, inexplicably, yank down a volume from the store shelves, open it, and shove your nose deeply into the binding, hungrily inhaling the ink and paper smells?

4. Have you ever bought the same book twice without knowing it?

5. When you go to a bookstore after work, thus arriving home late at night, do you lie about where you have been, telling your spouse you were at a bar?

6. At Christmastime, do you buy your loved ones books that you want to read?

7. Have you ever given up on a book before you started it?

8. Are you unable to walk through a mall without stopping at a bookstore?

9. Do you have a personal library on an entire subject, none of which you have read?

10. Do you ever buy books simply because they were on sale?

11. Have you ever bought a book because you liked the cover design?

12. When at a garage sale, is the first thing you look at the books?

13. Have you ever been fired from a job, or reprimanded, for reading?

14. Have you and your immediate family ever “discussed” your book-buying and reading habits?

15. When you watch TV, do you always have a book in your lap for slow parts and commercials?

16. Do you “watch” television sports with the sound off?

17. Does panic set in when you find yourself in a barber’s chair or under a hairdryer with nothing to read?

18. Have you ever become suddenly deeply interested in an obscure topic and immediately bought six or more books on that topic?

19. Do you ever lie about how many books you’ve bought?

20. Do you devise grand and devious strategies for getting your books in the house to avoid the scrutiny of your spouse or family?

21. Has your book buying ever embarrassed your family or friends?

22. When a stranger walks into your house or apartment, are his or her first words usually a comment about your books?

23. If someone asks you for a reading list of the twenty most influential books you’ve ever read, do you happen to have such a list on your person?

24. Do you have at least six books next to your bed?

25. When a bookstore clerk has been unable to locate a certain book in the stacks, have you ever been able to find that book?


More than four Yes answers: you are looking down into the deep and woeful pit of biblioholism!

More than eight Yes answers: you are hanging by your fingernails on the edge of the chasm of biblioholism!

More than twelve Yes answers: it’s just a matter of time before you finish falling into the dusty canyon of biblioholism!( Copied from http://www.ftppl.org/areuabiblio.htm  As the information was already in the public domain, I’ve assumed it’s OK to reproduce.  If not, please contact me and I shall remove text from my post.)

If you take the test, be sure to leave a comment on your score. Regarding the level of my own literary proclivities, the only surprise is that I didn’t score a full 25!