Word for Wednesday: Librocubicularist

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We all love reading in bed. A pile of books sits on your bedside table: each representing different a world waiting be visited before sleep takes over. No one ever really grows out of bedtime stories do they?

Sadly, in modern times it’s often hard to find the time or mental space to sit down and read – as such reading has become an activity largely relegated to bedtimes and holidays.

However, there is something undeniably pleasurable about reading in the refuge of your own bed where there are few distractions – apart from, perhaps, your snoring other half! It is from the comfort of bed that you can truly immerse yourself in the realms of the pages – just your imagination and the author’s invention.

If you are in fact a bedtime reader or happen to know one, you’re in luck. A word exists solely to describe this type of person, the tongue-twisting: ‘librocubicularist’.

'Libro' comes from the Latin for book ‘liber’ and 'cubicular' comes from the Latin ‘cubiculum’ which means ‘bedroom’.

As fitting as this word might be, it is very rare and is scarcely used in literature – it did however appear in the 1981 edition of the ever-popular board game Trivial Pursuit, so I suppose it counts as a ‘real’ word…

Hugh MacDermott

15 Jul 2015
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