Printable Version
Pronunciation: bi-bli-ê-di-vêr-si-ti Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass

Meaning: 1. The publishing of reading material on a wide variety of topics (Hawthorne, see below). 2. The collection of books or reading over a wide variety of topics (Dr. Goodword).

Notes: Today's Good Word is so new that it appears in no dictionary, yet it draws 17,900 returns when googled. It usually represents an argument for independent publishers against huge publishing houses whose publishing sameness supports high profits. It is subject to all the derivations of diverse, so the adjective will be bibliodiverse.

In Play: Here is an example of bibliodiversity in its usual sense: "Bibliodiversity is a solution of narrow-minded commercial predominance in the world of publishing houses." Here is a sentence in the newest implied sense of this word: "Rita Book's reading taste is notable for its bibliodiversity."

Word History: "Bibliodiversity is a term invented by Chilean publishers in the 1990s as a way of envisioning a different kind of publishing," according to Susan Hawthorne in Bibliodiversity: a Manifesto for Independent Publishing (2015). In Spanish it is bibliodiversidad and in French, bibliodiversité. It is based on the combination of a Greek word, biblion "book" + a Latin word, diversus "turned different ways". Biblion probably came from Byblos, the name of the ancient Phoenician port (modern Jebeil, Lebanon) from which Egyptian papyrus was shipped to Greece. Diversus is a combination of dis- "not, opposite of" + versus "turned, facing", the passive participle of vertere "to turn". This word comes from PIE wer-/wor- "to turn", source also of the English suffix -ward, Russian vertet' "turn", Latvian virb "hinge", Greek rhembein "to turn, twist", and Welsh gwrym "hem, seam", (Now accolades are due Luciano Eduardo de Oliveira, member of our editorial board and the discoverer of today's fascinating Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

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