I was so overwhelmed at times by the vocabulary, I started to write down the words I did not know. Occasionally I would look them up but for the most part, kept them like a collection of strange, beautiful things.
Maybe if I'd studied harder for the SAT, or read more Talmage and less Twilight I might have a better vocabulary and my Hedgehog list would not be so long. Also, I realize I may have just exposed the fact that I actually have the vocabulary of an 8th grader. (5th grader?)
However, there is a chance that "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" is actually a pretentious book with snobby characters who just don't want you to understand them, even as they practially beg to be understood.