I got a Kindle for Mother's Day. One of its features is a preloaded New Oxford American Dictionary. You can put the cursor in front of a word, and it'll look show you the definition.
Ha! I thought. I'm a word geek--I won't be using THAT much.
Then I "bought" a series of Kindle books written in the 1910s. (I put bought in quotes because they were free.)
And I hadn't gone four pages without looking up three words.
Here are some of the words I looked up (another cool feature: highlight some text, and "clip" it into a memory bank). On almost all of them, I knew roughly (and sometimes exactly) what was meant--but I'd never seen the word before.
fiacre (no fair; an anachronism in the form of a horse-drawn vehicle)
weariful (which is clear, but an unusual form)
carrefour (this is an anachronism--a form of horse-drawn carriage)
Crepitation (a rattling sound or crackling sound--raindrops on the window, multiple shots from a pistol) and sedulous (showing dedication and diligence--careful; the thieves lurking in the doorway were always sedulous) were big favorites of Louis Joseph Vance, the author I was reading.
The rain made incessant crepitation on the roof . . .
. . . seeds of death which the Hun and his kin were sedulous to sow . . .
Have you cracked open The Book lately?