One of the things that I noticed when immersing myself into reading culture is the amount or bookish lingo that exists in this space. And that’s not a bad thing! Having your own jargon within a group can really help create a sense of belonging and community. It’s like secret code or something!
Bookish culture is ripe with acronyms and idioms. It makes a lot of sense because the main thread that connects us is our love for the written word. Adding to it that we can be a bit nerdy and you’re bound to find some gibberish and slanguage in there.
I’ve compiled this list of these terms to help you talk the talk with your literary friends and to help you understand what the hell all these people are talking about. If you want to be my literary friend, add me on Goodreads or Instagram because that’s where I am most active! Feel free to comment below and tell me your favorites and any others that I have forgotten.
To Be Read: A collection of books that you plan on reading at some point. Often expressed as a list or a pile, a TBR is never-ending as you are continually adding to it by acquiring new books before you’ve finished reading the ones you already have.
Did Not Finish: You had great intentions of crossing this book off your TBR but for whatever reason, it did not meet your standards. Maybe it was a stupid main character, maybe a grammatical error pissed you off, maybe it’s just not in your wheelhouse. I’ve only DNF’ed one book in my recent lifetime!
Review To Come: Pretty self explanatory when you know what it stands for!
Area of interest: Genres, topics or fields of knowledge that you are familiar with and enjoy. Wikipedia says that “Wheelhouses are the small enclosed parts of a bridge which historically held the ship’s steering wheel. So ‘in someone’s wheelhouse’ refers to something being within one’s areas of competency, like command of a ship is within a ship captain’s abilities.”
Advanced Reader’s Copy: An unfinalized copy of a book provided to reviewers by publishers before the official publication date. Also known as a DRC (digital review copy), eARC for electronic versions, galley, or uncorrected proof.
International Standard Book Number: Unique identifying number for any given published book.
To read a single book or a series in a single sitting without coming up for air. That might be an exaggeration, but you get what I mean … quickly!
There are a few common items of bookish lingo that you’ll likely come across as you dive into the amazing rabbit hole of literary culture. I chose to stick to the basics in this post but if the interest is there, I’d love to do further informative posts on other bookish topics!
What bookish lingo did I miss? Which ones confused you? Let’s chat!