Learn the Book Lover Lingo

Ever wondered what book lovers are talking about? If all those book terms are unfamiliar to you, wonder no more: we’ve got a list of common terms bookworms use to talk about all things books.

ARC: Advanced Reader Copy, also called a galley copy. A pre-release copy of your book, often not the final version. An ARC can be sent to media contacts to inquire about book reviews or sent to individual readers when targeting for potential endorsements. ARCs can be either physical books or electronic files, although electronic ARCs are often called eARCs.

Book bender: Similar to binge watching, a book bender involves reading a lot of books in a short amount of time—and not feeling guilty about it. Because books.

Book blog: A website where readers post reviews, discussions, and other material related solely to books. People who run book blogs, called book bloggers, are often some of the most passionate book and author supporters you’ll find.

Book boyfriend: A fictional character you have a crush on.

Book hangover: When you read a really good book and have trouble returning to the real world or moving on to a new book.

DNF: Did Not Finish. A DNF book is one that you stop reading, whether you didn’t like it, didn’t have time, or it just wasn’t working for you in that moment of your reading life.

Fan fiction: Fiction inspired by an existing movie, TV show, or book series, where the fan fiction clearly references the work it was inspired by.

Fandom: A community of fans of a movie, TV show, or book series.

Fangirl or fanboy: A female or male who has a thing for any part of a fandom: the creator, author, characters, actors.

Fangirling or fanboying: Expressing excitement over one’s fangirl or fanboy obsession.

Feels: A shortened form of “feelings,” generally used when a book stirs up one’s emotions.

Galley copy: Also called ARC (see above). A pre-release copy of your book, often not the final version. A galley copy can be sent to media contacts to inquire about book reviews or sent to individual readers when targeting for potential endorsements. Galley copies can be either physical books or electronic files.

Genre fiction: Fiction that falls within specific categories, such as romance, science fiction, fantasy, and crime.

GIF: A short, usually a few seconds, clip of a movie or TV show that runs on repeat. Internet users use GIFs to express emotions or feelings about something.

Love triangle: When the main character, usually a female in a young adult novel, has two love interests.

Meme: A picture and phrase structure that has caught on and is replicated across the Internet. Examples include: Futurama Fry, The Most Interesting Man, and X all the Y.

OTP: One True Pairing. A person’s ultimate “ship” (see below) in a fandom, often where the two names are combined into one.

Spoiler: Information that ruins, or spoils, key parts of a book or series. This information is usually pivotal for the book, and reveals information or facts you wouldn’t be able to find in the back cover copy or the beginning of a book. An example of a spoiler would be who committed the murder in a murder mystery.

Ship: Short for relationship, a ship is two characters linked in a relationship, usually romantically, regardless of what happens in the book.

Shipping: The act of creating a ship (see above).

Star rating: A form of rating books using stars. Most review sites, including Goodreads and Amazon, use star ratings as a quick overview of someone’s opinion. Although the review sites use five stars, what each star means can differ across the sites.

TBR: To Be Read. TBR is an acronym most often used to describe a list of books a person wants to read, but hasn’t gotten to yet.

Team: Usually followed by a character’s name, which team you’re on indicates which side of the love triangle (see above) you fall on. e.g., Team Edward or Team Jacob.

Got any terms not listed here? Let us know in the comments!

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