“That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you to another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It’s geometrically progressive - all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.”—Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (via itsfromabook)
“If you read one book a week, starting at the age of 5, and live to be 80, you will have read a grand total of 3,900 books, a little over one-tenth of 1 percent of the books currently in print.”—Lewis Buzbee, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop (via vistasoftheworld)
1. Shemomedjamo (Georgian) You know when you’re really full, but your meal is just so delicious, you can’t stop eating it? The Georgians feel your pain. This word means, “I accidentally ate the whole thing.”
2. Pelinti (Buli, Ghana) Your friend bites into a piece of piping hot pizza, then opens his mouth and sort of tilts his head around while making an “aaaarrrahh” noise. The Ghanaians have a word for that. More specifically, it means “to move hot food around in your mouth.”
3. Layogenic (Tagalog) Remember in Clueless when Cher describes someone as “a full-on Monet…from far away, it’s OK, but up close it’s a big old mess”? That’s exactly what this word means.
4. Rhwe (Tsonga, South Africa) College kids, relax. There’s actually a word for “to sleep on the floor without a mat, while drunk and naked.”
5. Zeg (Georgian) It means “the day after tomorrow.” Seriously, why don’t we have a word for that in English?
6. Pålegg (Norweigian) Sandwich Artists unite! The Norwegians have a non-specific descriptor for anything – ham, cheese, jam, Nutella, mustard, herring, pickles, Doritos, you name it – you might consider putting into a sandwich.
7. Lagom (Swedish) Maybe Goldilocks was Swedish? This slippery little word is hard to define, but means something like, “Not too much, and not too little, but juuuuust right.”
8. Tartle (Scots) The nearly onomatopoeic word for that panicky hesitation just before you have to introduce someone whose name you can’t quite remember.
9. Koi No Yokan (Japanese) The sense upon first meeting a person that the two of you are going to fall into love.
10. Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego) This word captures that special look shared between two people, when both are wishing that the other would do something that they both want, but neither want to do.
11. Fremdschämen (German); Myötähäpeä (Finnish) The kindler, gentler cousins of Schadenfreude, both these words mean something akin to “vicarious embarrassment.” Or, in other words, that-feeling-you-get-when-you-watch-Meet the Parents.
12. Cafune (Brazilian Portuguese) Leave it to the Brazilians to come up with a word for “tenderly running your fingers through your lover’s hair.”
13. Greng-jai (Thai) That feeling you get when you don’t want someone to do something for you because it would be a pain for them.
14. Kaelling (Danish) You know that woman who stands on her doorstep (or in line at the supermarket, or at the park, or in a restaurant) cursing at her children? The Danes know her, too.
Whenever I read a simply fantastic book, I often read the last pages slowly, so that the story, along with the characters wrapped within, doesn't just end. I love and hate reading book endings for that reason.