How would you say booklover or bookworm in latin. It is for a tattoo. The person who wants it is a real booklover and wants the world to know. He is not a collector of books but a reader. I find different translations but it must be correct Latin and we're not able to judge that. Thank you, Enya
A booklover is librorum amans or librorum studiosus. If you want, you can also use the superlatives: librorum amantissimus or librorum studiosissimus.
Another term (that has gained some currency in learned English) is helluo librorum, which is a rather drastic expression, meaning something like “book glutton”! (This is sometimes attributed to Cicero (e.g. by Erasmus), although it seems Cicero only wrote (De Finibus 3, 7): quasi helluari libris, si hoc verbo in tam clara re utendum est = “being a glutton, so to speak, for books, if it is appropriate to use this word for such an honourable thing.”)
I suggest using a compound with -cola, indicating where someone lives or what someone worships or works on. Examples include agricola, caelicola, monticola, Iunonicola, Christicola, silvicola, ruricola, nocticola, viticola. The Perseus Digital Library makes it easy to compile a list of Latin words ending in -cola.
Given this range of examples, I think libricola would make a sound translation for "a cultivator of books" or a "bookdweller". This word is not attested in classical Latin, but the suffix -cola seems to have been quite productive and searching online suggests that the word has been in (infrequent) use since the medieval times for a bibliophile.
If he's open to borrowing from Greek, as Roman lovers of books did frequently, you could take the attested Greek term φιλόβιβλος (philobiblos) -- ``a lover of books'' -- and Latinize it to philobiblus. Or he could get a tattoo of the Greek word itself.
This term also has the advantage of alluding to Richard de Bury's Philobiblon, a medieval work on learning from books and building a library.
The order should not be reversed because it would change the meaning. βιβλόφιλος is not attested, but it would mean something like "a friend of books" or "loved by books." Compare φιλόλογος "lover of words" and λογόφιλος "friend of words," or φιλόθεος "pious, lover of the divine" and θεόφιλος "loved by the gods, a friend of the gods." The attested compounds seem to indicate that "lover of X" should be φιλο-X rather than X-φιλος.