A What?

What in the hell is a bookbilly?

Books are words bound up. Books are stories. Books are hobby, escape, history, art. Books are life. In addition to books, there are hillbillies. Courtesy of the Oxford English Dictionary, one may find an excerpt from the New York Medical Journal of April 23rd, 1900: “In short, a Hill-Billie is a free and untrammelled white citizen of Alabama, who lives in the hills, has no means to speak of, dresses as he can, talks as he pleases, drinks whiskey when he gets it, and fires off his revolver as the fancy takes him.” Here, being of the hills does not denote only location, but an ethos, a way, a habit, a heritage. “Untrammelled” indicates unhindered, unrestrained, unrepressed, free. Just as a hillbilly is a person of the hills, a bookbilly is a person of books. And bookbillies should envision themselves as untrammelled as the iconic whisky-sipping soul from the hills; there’s no right way to live this life of books and letters, but one thing is for sure: the bookbilly cannot live otherwise.

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