The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows – John Koenig

A truly original book in every sense of the word, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows poetically defines emotions that we all feel but don’t have the words to express—until now.

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is for anyone who enjoys a shift in perspective, pondering the ineffable feelings that make up our lives. With a gorgeous package and beautiful illustrations throughout, this is the perfect gift for creatives, word nerds, and human beings everywhere.


The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
by John Koenig

A truly original book in every sense of the word, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows poetically defines emotions that we all feel but don’t have the words to express—until now.

Have you ever wondered about the lives of each person you pass on the street, realizing that everyone is the main character in their own story, each living a life as vivid and complex as your own? That feeling has a name: “sonder.” Or maybe you’ve watched a thunderstorm roll in and felt a primal hunger for disaster, hoping it would shake up your life. That’s called “lachesism.” Or you were looking through old photos and felt a pang of nostalgia for a time you’ve never actually experienced. That’s “anemoia.”

If you’ve never heard of these terms before, that’s because they didn’t exist until John Koenig set out to fill the gaps in our language of emotion. The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows “creates beautiful new words that we need but do not yet have,” says John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars. By turns poignant, relatable, and mind-bending, the definitions include whimsical etymologies drawn from languages around the world, interspersed with otherworldly collages and lyrical essays that explore forgotten corners of the human condition—from “astrophe,” the longing to explore beyond the planet Earth, to “zenosyne,” the sense that time keeps getting faster.


For stock availability, click & collect and home delivery options, please see the website for details here. Or alternatively, call your local store to discuss the above options (03) 9783 6488.

Happy Reading!
From the team at Robinsons Bookshop

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