I just finished the Strugatsky brothers’ 1964 Трудно быть богом (translated as Hard to be a God), and enjoyed it as much as I did Escape Attempt (see this post). One of the pleasures of this novel set on a distant planet still mired in blood-soaked feudalism is the use of archaic vocabulary, of which my favorite word was книгочей [knigochéi] ‘book-lover, bookish person’; my pleasure was increased when I looked it up in Vasmer (the standard Russian etymological dictionary) and found “др.-русск., ст.-слав. кънигъчии (γραμματεύς; Супр.; Черноризец Храбр). Заимств. из тюркск.; ср. вост.-булг., др.-тюрк. *küinigči от *küinig (см. книга).” In other words, it’s borrowed from Turkic, with the characteristic –či ending for a person having something to do with the noun the suffix is attached to (compare Saatchi ‘watchmaker’ and Khashoggi from kaşıkçı ‘maker or seller of spoons’). And if you look up книга [kniga] ‘book’ you get “Праслав. *kъniga, судя по книгоче́й (см.), нужно возводить через др.-тюрк. *küinig, волжско-болг., дунайско-болг. *küiniv (уйг. kuin, kuinbitig) к кит. k̔üеn «свиток»,” taking the Turkic word back to Chinese; Vasmer goes on to cast doubt on an alternative etymology deriving it from Akkadian kunukku ‘seal’ given the lack of an intermediate geographical link, not to mention problems of form and meaning. Etymological arguments are my idea of a good time.