What is the name of the person who steals books?
Can you please tell me what is the word for it?

  • 5
    Probably the more common expression is "book thief" books.google.com/ngrams/…, also thanks to the novel and the recent movie en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Book_Thief
    – user66974
    Jun 14, 2015 at 7:40
  • 2
    .A tome raider. Jun 15, 2015 at 18:40
  • 1
    I usually call the people who steal my books "friends". Are you talking about people who don't return books you loan them, or someone who, for instance, shoplifts bestsellers to take to a used book shop?
    – Jason M
    Jun 15, 2015 at 18:48
  • @sumelic - I didn't post it as an answer because OP is asking for a single word, but I think it is the expression normally used.
    – user66974
    Jun 15, 2015 at 19:00
  • @Josh61: I edited the tags on this question recently for just this reason-- the "single word requests" tag is not actually from the OP, but from a later editor. It's not completely clear yet if the OP wants a single word, or phrases as well. (While the question does say "the word for it", that might encompass phrases.)
    – herisson
    Jun 15, 2015 at 20:06

2 Answers 2


From Wiktionary:

biblioklept (plural biblioklepts)

A person who steals books


But the extreme is found in covetousness, and the covetous man who is in the extreme state of bookloving, is the biblioklept, or bookstealer.


  • I was just going to add the attribution (as is required), but found that the M-W article was inaccessible. I switched to the equivalent definition from Wiktionary. I assume the example is from the not generally accessible M-W article. Jun 15, 2015 at 18:46
  • You might also indicate that this word is rare and not commonly heard.
    – herisson
    Jun 15, 2015 at 18:49
  • @sumelic Perhaps rare, perhaps not commonly heard, but if this word didn't already exist, I'd have created it. The roots are readily understandable to a bibliophile.
    – Paul Rowe
    Jun 15, 2015 at 22:31

A more common expression is book thief probably thanks to the novel and recent movie with the same name.

Ngram: biblioklept vs book stealer vs book thief.

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