As a book reviewer, one who feels quite at ease telling you what I think, I've learned I'm a philodox (one who loves his own opinions), but I think I'm more of a philonist (searcher of knowledge).
Ever fum? No, no, that's nothing naughty (which then would be placular). It is playing a fiddle. Maybe fiddle players know this, but I didn't.
Get 'wowf' with words (wild and extreme). You can be as snod as 007. Grab a miche and slice a piece, and read through this yummy book. The definitions are only a few words each, but will provide you with just enough knowledge to impress your friends (or alienate you from them!).
You won't be overwhelmed by the layout or length. You can read through it in a few Saturdays.
Intumulate your Websters, and buy this one. It is aosmic and apinoid (odorless and dirt-free). What more could you want?
For fun (that's f-u-n, not f-u-m), I read it backwards, from zzxjoanw (a Moari drum) to aa (rough, crumbling lava). Preposterous books ought to be read in a preposterous way, don't you think?
I fully recommend "The Word Lover's Dictionary: Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words" by Josefa Heifetz. It is precisely what it claims to be. It is for any philocalist of words.
The first thing I did before buying the book was to see how many of the words I was unfamiliar with. You see, I had once gone through the entire Collins English Language Dictionary cover to cover (not the pocket version, the one with over 70,000 words). It's not important to this review why I did such an insane thing as read a dictionary cover to cover. More importantly, because of this background, I figured that I should find very few words in this Word Lover's Dictionary that I had not run across in my life before. I was in for a surprise! I scanned 3 whole pages and to my utter shock, I didn't find a single word that I had seen before! This amazed me so much that I immediately purchased a copy of the book.
The second thing I did was to get on the Internet to see how many words would show up in their search engine. I was even more surprised when I found that out of 10 consecutive words that I randomly picked from the book, only 3 showed up as valid! Of course, this doesn't mean that these words don't exist, it just means that you need to go to the Unabridged version of some English language dictionary to find them. Since the Unabridged versions are premium services on most sites, I didn't check to see how the 10 words would fare on those sites. But I wouldn't be surprised if you have to go to quite a few sites to find all the words. The author does admit that you would have to look through many Unabridged dictionaries to actually find some of these words.
Some interesting facts about words in the English language. There are approximately 600,000 words in the English language and most of these words are related to Science and Technology. Of these, a majority are biological or chemical terms to be more precise. They also happen to be nouns referring to the thousands of chemicals, bacteria, plants & animals, etc. Leaving these nouns to the side, there are less than 100,000 words that we could possibly use in our daily communications unless we are in those highly specialized fields of Science and Technology. So, most Abridged dictionaries contain anywhere between 30,000 and 70,000 words and you would actually have to go to the Unabridged versions to find the rest of the usable words. The author has collected 6,000 of the most unusual and obscure of these other 30,000 words to present to the reader. It is a truly REMARKABLE effort indeed!
Bottom line, if you love words, get this book. Don't even hesitate. I haven't regretted my purchase since I got my copy. Every week, I plan on spending a few minutes going through these pages. I know I will thoroughly enjoy the experience (as I have so far). I hope you do too :-)