I came across this blog post about International Bibliodiversity day, which occurred last month on Sept. 21st. I never knew there was such a day! I also love that there is an additional meaning added to the word: independent booksellers. With the closing of Borders, the conversation from booksellers turned to independent shops. As our country observes protests of big business across the country, I find myself asking if independent will be embraced by book lovers more than before. Personally, I love Barnes and Noble, but I find now that I’m living in a small town, my favorite bookstore is a good 35 minutes away. I’ll be visiting the local independent shop more now that my in-person choice is taken away, but I would have gone there anyway. Regardless of where you buy books or the pros and cons of big booksellers vs. independent, I think what I love most is the new conversations created from what seems to be such a simple topic. So, enjoy this new take on one of my favorite words. Next year, I plan on celebrating diversity in books not only in their topic, but in the diverse world created by a simple existence of the written word.
I recently discovered a really great podcast called Books on the Nightstand which is a weekly 30 minute discussion on books, hot topics and reader comments. I love the diversity of the books they discuss and there is always a new idea that has me thinking. I’ve been catching up on old episodes, and a topic came up called “Bibliodiversity.” Now this wasn’t an original idea of BOTN, originally a concept from an academic journal. Yet, I just loved the word and all the possibility behind the meaning. It really had me thinking and asking questions!
Just what is Bibliodiversity? Could it be a fancy way to say, “multicultural” literature? Perhaps. Could it mean the diversity in reading materials such as print and ebooks? Sure. Yet, that word diversity, in relation to the huge bibliophile universe could mean any multitude of ideas. Of course, the English major in me wanted to break down the actual word, taking in the prefix “biblio” and suffix “diversity” and Google them to see what overwhelming internet results would show. Too much. Dictionary.com defines the word “biblio” as that ‘used in the formation of compound words with the meaning “book”.’ They define the word “diversity” as ‘ 1. the state or fact of being diverse; difference; unlikeness. 2. variety; multiformity. 3. a point of difference.’ Now, the possibilities are really endless with this absolutely magical word! I still have no idea how to narrow this concept down!
I suppose I like to think of the word Bibliodiversity as my own concoction of reading tastes in being an eclectic and different mix of genres in books. Someone else could say it was their own formation of a diverse group of books in unique formats. Or perhaps taking into account the simplicity of there being just a matter of point of difference, it could mean someone’s collection of French cookbooks but from different regions.
Of course, then I could take those meanings and make it about authors or book covers or even bookmarks! I could literally write a whole book, pun intended.
I love this word. I may need to visit it again.