Speaking Book Nerd – A Glossary

Have you ever come across a gaggle of book nerds, and overhead little snatches of their conversation that leave you confused and utterly bewildered? Well, as book nerds, we have our own little language, full of acronyms and other phrases like ‘DNF’ or even ‘TBR’ and if you’re not in the bookish loop, these can be pretty confusing.
Let me take you on a little journey on the emotional rollercoaster that is being a book nerd. Strap yourself in for a wild ride.
TBR – the term you’re most likely to hear the most. This means ‘To Be Read’ AKA the pile of books you have sitting on your shelf that you haven’t gotten around to reading just yet. Some people – I’ve personally never met them – have a small TBR, but more likely than not, you’ll find someone with a TBR taller than they are, or longer than their phone bill. I’m one of those people. I have no regrets.
ARC – This is another term that you’re guaranteed to hear in any conversation between book nerds. ARC stands for ‘Advance Review Copy’ and they are very coveted. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, a publisher will send you an ARC of an upcoming release for you to read and review, in order to drum up publicity. You can also gain e-ARCs which you can obtain through requesting them on Netgalley or Edelweiss. Trust me, those are a whole blog post on their own.
Booktube/Booktubers – the book nerds who live on Youtube. They’re like regular Youtubers. except they post tag videos, and book hauls of massive proportions, and they are able to cause some serious book envy with their gorgeous bookshelves and book collections. Also, the really big ones – like Christine or Katy – get to go to fancy launches for things like the Shadowhunters premiere and also other book-themed events. Venture into Booktube at your own risk – you’ll almost certainly come out the other end with your TBR having doubled in size.
The Feels – something every fan has experienced. Book nerds just get it more. The feels are….like when you drink hot chocolate, and you can feel the warmth spreading through your very centre, and you feel so happy. Although, they can also be emotionally painful in certain circumstances (Will Traynor…. *sob*) so always have backup when reading, in case the feels hit you hard. Backup can include a box of tissues, your laptop nearby for fangirling on Goodreads/Twitter, or even another book nerd. They will empathise with you.
asdfjkl;– the only word you’ll have to describe your feelings when you get hit with the feels. To be used in those moments when other coherent words just don’t seem to work.
Goodreads – the best and worst site ever. This is where you can keep track of all the books you’re reading/have read, and where you can find books related to your interests. Thanks to Goodreads, it’s way too easy for me to add books to my TBR, which has now grown to 127. I’m being dead serious – 127 books that I want to read. Curse you, Goodreads!! You can also review books, and join book clubs, and talk about your favourite book series with other like-minded fans.
Book Porn – it’s not dirty, I promise! Book porn is just photos of gorgeous books with pretty, pretty covers, and unspoiled spines….
You can find these on any book nerd’s blog, bookstagram, or Twitter. They usually seem effortless, but more likely than not, the picture has taken up to an hour to compose so it looks beautiful yet like the person has just quickly snapped it without thought.
Bookstagram – the place where all the book porn is. Just like Booktube, this is the book nerd side of the social media. On here, you can see gorgeous book aesthetics, fan-art, and shelfies (more on them in a second). Be warned though, you’ll be hit with a mix of the feels and book envy while browsing Bookstagram. Just be warned.
Shelfies – you’ve heard of selfies right? Well, shelfies are the same idea, but where you take photos of you and your bookshelves. For a book nerd, bookshelves aren’t just a place to stuff your books on when you’ve finished them. They’re a place of pride, and if you search ‘shelfies’ on any social media, you’ll sense a sort of competition to see who has the prettiest shelves. A lot of people will decorate their shelves with adorable little Funko!Pop figurines of book characters like Voldemort, or Katniss. giving it a very attractive look. Ugh, I want pretty shelves.


Dog-Ear – book nerd sacrilege. Doing this is the equivalent to basically ripping the entire page – it ruins the book, and you can never undo it. Use a bookmark, you heathen!
Insta-love – the most unrealistic plot device in the world. Boy meets girl, boy and girl instantly fall in love with each other while singing together, or some other cliche. In about 95% of cases, this will not be believable, unless it’s in a fantasy book about soulmates and whatnot. I’m all for love at first sight as much as the next girl, but if it’s written badly, I won’t believe it.
Shipping – when you want so desperately to do this to two characters in a book, or even two characters from completely separate series:
OTP – one true pairing, also known as the ship you will go down with. Even if they end canonically, they will forever be alive in your heart, and you will forever ship them together. This can also be turned into BroTP (two characters you ship platonically), or NoTP (two characters you never want together, and shouldn’t ever get together).
I hope this is a decent enough guide to the book nerd vocabulary – now, be off! Take this knowledge and go become a book nerd. We can always use more people in our ranks.
Happy reading!

3 thoughts on “Speaking Book Nerd – A Glossary

  1. Hahah, this post made me laugh on so many levels & I don’t know why xD All of these definitions are so true — it actually is very helpful for someone that is just starting to blog. Wonderful post! ๐Ÿ™‚

    -Jess @jbelkbooks


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