Well, words aren't my only fetish. I also have a fetish for stationery.
Of course it matters very much what is written on paper, but how much of buying books is to do with the feel of it? When I was a teacher we were conscious of the importance of books as sensory objects. The feel and smell of paper is just as important as the words in getting kids reading. And what is true for kids is undoubtedly true for the grown up variety.
There is nothing more seductive to me than fresh smooth pages in a book. This is why library books - and I'm not knocking libraries for a moment, I'm too scared of librarians - are never as satisfying as buying a new paperback. Old books can't seduce us like new ones.
And in my case it's not just printed books. From my youngest years I've loved notebooks too. Those little glossy red Sylvine memo books were my idea of heaven. I've recently discovered Moleskines - not made from moles after all, but never mind - and they have that satin sheen my fetish lusts after. What is it about clean new paper? I wish I understood.