Bibliomania is an intense desire and compulsion to
possess and collect books. It can be a sign of
obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), which is a type
of anxiety disorder characterized by compulsive
behaviors performed in response to obsessive
thoughts.  In bibliomania, the books actually have no
practical use to the collector and represent a form of
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The collected books usually carry no significant value to an actual book collector,
although some people with bibliomania seek out rare books which do have significant

Some ways to tell whether bibliomania is present is if the amount of books collected is
greater than the practical storage capacity and/or the personís ability to read the books
and enjoy them.  Purchasing more than one copy of the same book can be another sign
of bibliomania. Of course, there are reasonable explanations is some cases why
someone may purchase two copies of a book or run out of storage, so whether these
occurrences  represent a problem  is a matter of degree. However, if collecting the books
can take up so much of the personís time that it interferes with normal social,
occupational, or educational functioning then this is a clear indication of a problem.
Bibliomania comes from the Greek word "biblion" meaning "book," and the Greek word
"mania" meaning "frenzy." Put the words together and you get "book frenzy." The term
was coined by physician, John Ferriar, in 1809 in a poem dedicated a friend with
bibliomania tendencies.
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