BIBLIOMANIA can be a symptom of obsessive–compulsive disorder which involves the collecting or even hoarding of books to the point where social relations or health are damaged.
Bibliomania is not to be confused with bibliophilia, which is a love of books and not considered a psychological disorder.
Other abnormal behaviour involving books include book-eating (bibliophagy), compulsive book-stealing (bibliokleptomania) and book-burying (bibliotaphy).
And now we learn that the Speaker of the Parliament of Papua New Guinea, Theo Zurenuoc, is to receive a 400-year old bible which is being donated to PNG.
Let’s just say it’s an early copy of the King James Bible, a gift from the religiously fundamental state of Indiana which recently passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act which basically allows a pizza shop to refuse to serve a same-sex customer couple.
According to Radio New Zealand International, when Zurenuoc and a delegation return to PNG with the bible this week, it will be received by prime minister Peter O'Neill and a defence force guard of honour.
Zurenuoc is leading what he terms “a reformation, restoration and modernisation program” to re-assert PNG's parliament as a Christian symbol of national unity.
In 2013 he took the first step in this program by directing the removal of various cultural artefacts from parliament house.
These included carved heads representing PNG provinces that looked down from parliament’s front entrance.
It was an act that caused public outrage, the head of the National Museum calling it “cultural terrorism”.
Apart from Zurenuoc, the junket to the United States includes Assistant Speaker Anton Yangama, Mendi-Munhiu MP De Kewanu, Kundiawa MP Tobias Kulang, Lae MP Loujaya Kouza and Southern Highlands Governor William Powi.
There's something of a problem with Zurenuoc’s claim that the bible is one of the first three translated from Latin into English.
Wycliffe, Tyndale and the author of the Douay–Rheims Bible all got there a generation before King James. And the Great Bible, the Bishop's Bible and the Geneva Bible all predating James' authorised version.
Speaker Zurenuoc and his band of bibliophiles might do a better job of serving their country if they focused more on preserving Papua New Guinean traditions and artefacts and less on being seduced by evangelical propaganda.