by Anne | 6:04 pm

Now, I know what you’re thinking. What in the world is a bibliobibuli? It is a term coined by an American humorist called H. L. Mencken, and it refers to people who read too much. Not that I ever think I read too much, but I normally have my head buried in a book, or a phone, or a laptop and I’m normally always reading. Words catch my eye and I can’t seem to help myself.

A bibliobibuli's way around being grounded

The Lead Up

Enough about that, though. I am here today to talk to you about how I managed to get around being grounded. My mother learned very quickly that when I was bad or causing trouble that the normal methods of punishment just wouldn’t be enough.

Sure, standing in a corner was awful, but I could close my eyes and make a game out of it. Sending me to my room was a joke since that’s where all my books were. Doing chores was something I had grown up with, and while I didn’t really like them, I wasn’t going to complain.

Back when she implemented this I didn’t have a phone, so she couldn’t take that away, and when I did have it I really didn’t use it unless I wanted to talk to my family. It’s only after I become an adult that I find myself glued to the phone more.

The Punishment

She came up with a very creative way one day by lugging in a couple of suitcases and telling me to pack all of my books into them as I was grounded. I was devastated. I loved my books and I couldn’t live without them, but every one that wasn’t a school book was supposed packed away.

That was worse than locking me into an oubliette. It was my own slice of purgatory. I did as I was told and started packing up all of my books. As I was doing so a light bulb went off in my head. I had a personal reading book in my backpack. I wouldn’t have to give up all of my reading material.punishment

Over the coming months I began keeping 2 books in my book bag just in case. I was “grounded” several more times, but I never let it get to me as I still had reading material. I also found another way around the restriction by checking out books from the school library. She couldn’t actually take them away since there was a date that they needed to be turned in by. I thought that I was very clever on thwarting my mother trying to take away all my fantastical retreats.

I’m not sure if my mother ever figured that out. It’s something that I will have to ask her and I will certainly update you on what she says. Update 4/14/2018: I did speak to my mother and she says that she didn’t have a clue. Why do I feel so proud of myself to have gotten one over on my mom?

The Crime

As for why I was grounded so often. It was mostly due to my lackluster grades. I was the type of person that didn’t really try unless it was a subject that I was passionate about or that challenged me in some way, shape, or form. It had to interest me in order for me to invest my time into it. I suppose that’s why I love working on this blog so much.

I admit that I hate cleaning as well. She grounded me a couple of times because my room was a mess. I admit that it was and I have taken pains to correct my wayward cleaning skills. It’s still not something I enjoy and I shirk it as much as possible.

Thankfully I’m an adult now and she does not ground me so I get to keep my books!

Can you relate? Do you have stories of you own? I would love to hear them so post them down in the comments below.

Take care,




Jamila Jones

I really loved reading this. Brings back memories for me. I have always had a love for books but I was punished in the normal way. More chores and housework. I use to read to really late in the night, my parents would constantly have to come to my room and switch the light off. They finally gave up and bought me a bedside clock with an alarm and night light.

Apr 14.2018 | 01:28 pm


    Hello, Jamila, and thank you for your comment. I love hearing stories, and I’m glad you liked mine. I’m that way, too. If I am into a book I can read until 2 or 3 in the morning and then look at the time and go, “Oops”. 

    Take care,


    Apr 14.2018 | 07:02 pm


Hey Anne:

I probably qualify as a bibliobibulis as well. I had to promise my late husband that I would never, ever drive while reading.

He had to make me promise that since I used to walk along the side of the road with my nose in a book. (I got such a lot of reading done that way.)

I am incredibly fortunate to have neighbors who watched out for me and avoided running me over.

I have been known to read can and box labels when I run out of books. Hmmm…maybe I’m just a word addict, a “logophile” or. possibly, a “logomaniac.”

The research librarians who help me scratch various mind itches and help facilitate assorted explorations have always been numbered among my most favorite people.

My deepest regret has been the loss of the physical library card catalogues. No more serendipitous finds while cruising through the drawers. (Sigh!) .

Google and other search engines are cool and all, but flipping through the typewritten index cards one after the other was an experience that was so much more visceral.

Apr 19.2018 | 06:43 am


    Hello, Netta, and thank you for taking the time to read.

    I am also one of those with my nose in a book while walking along. I think of Belle from Beauty and the Beast every time, but I’m a lot less graceful.

    At work we have flyers in the bathroom for safety and whatnot, and I just can’t help reading them every time I go in there.

    I agree with you on the physical library catalogs. You never know what you’ll find as you flip through them.

    Take care,


    Apr 19.2018 | 09:44 am

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