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5 Book-Related Phobias for the Curious Bookworm

Etinosa Uwadiae


Etinosa started blogging about books so she could talk about her love for them since she hardly met people who did so IRL. When she isn't reading, watching anime or daydreaming, she studies to be an engineer. A lover of diverse books, especially African literature, she lives in Lagos, Nigeria. She blogs at Uwadis and you can find her on Twitter: @uwadisreads. Email:

There are over 100 phobias ranging from the fear of small spaces to fear of spiders to the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. Here is a short list of the phobias associated with books and reading.

5 Book-Related Phobias


This is basically a fear of books. It could manifest as the fear of reading a particular type of book, reading out loud in public or even holding a book. It could also manifest as a hatred of books because a person feels the books might have a negative impact on him or his community and this has led to censorship and burning of books throughout history.


This is the fear of running out of reading material. I know this is like every book lover’s greatest fear. But thankfully books are easily accessible now more than they were in the last century so get to reading bookworms.


Did you know that Megan Fox is afraid of dry paper? Papyrophobia is the fear of paper. It could be the fear of touching paper, being cut by it or writing on paper. Basically, if you have this phobia you won’t be able to read physical books. But thankfully there are ebooks and audiobooks now so someone suffering from this can still read. Although in our everyday life some form of paper is used, from the shopping mall bags to postage stamps and tissues, so this is a very debilitating and life-limiting phobia.


The fear of words. This could be the fear of a specific word or several words or the fear of saying certain words. Most likely the words are associated with a traumatic experience.


This is the fear of being without something to read on public transport. I know it sucks when you are stuck in traffic, a long drive or flight without anything to read but I was surprised to find out this is a phobia. It was created humorously in the 1970s by a novelist.

There are several other phobias related to books and reading like Graphophobia (fear of writing), Sophophobia (fear of learning or knowledge) and Metrophobia (fear of poetry). People can be afraid of anything and everything, the same way people can be obsessed with anything. Bibliomania is an obsessive love for books that leads to collecting books and hoarding them. One of the most famous bibliomaniacs was Sir Thomas Philips and after his death. His books were auctioned and it took over 100 years for them to be sold off. This could mean two things: he had a massive collection of books (estimated to be over 160,000 books), or they were really slow at auctioning off things in those days.

Disclaimer: Some of these phobias were created humorously or don’t yet exist in the English dictionary (e.g abibliophobia, alogotransiphobia) but others do and they can be very debilitating for whoever suffers from them. This post in no way tries to make light of such phobias.