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How To Use The Word “Book”

When you hear the word “book,” you likely think about… well… a book. Whether hard cover, or paperback, or even ebook. You think of the last book you read or the current book you’re reading—we hope you’re thinking of the book you want to write.

Have you ever thought of all the ways the word “book” can be used? Probably not, but we have. Below is a list of idioms about books we found on the Spellzone website.


21 Idioms about Books

  1. a closed book – a topic or person about which/whom very little is known

  2. an open book – a topic or person that/who is easy to understand or about which/whom a lot is known

  3. book smart – possessing knowledge acquired from reading or study but lacking common sense

  4. bookworm – a keen reader

  5. by the book – in accordance with the rules

  6. “You can’t judge a book by its cover!” – the outward appearance of something or someone is not a reliable indication of its/their true nature

  7. every trick in the book – all available methods of achieving what’s desired

  8. in my book – in my opinion

  9. in someone’s good/bad books – in favor/disfavor with someone

  10. on/off the books – officially on record/unofficially and usually in secret

  11. one for the (record) books – an extraordinary event that will be remembered

  12. the oldest trick in the book – a trick so unimaginative and commonplace that it shouldn’t deceive anyone

  13. to balance the books – to add up all debits and credits

  14. to bring someone to book – to punish someone or draw attention to their bad behavior

  15. to close the books – to put something aside and stop spending time and effort on it

  16. to cook the books – to falsify facts or figures

  17. to have your nose in a book – to be reading intensely

  18. to hit the books – to study

  19. to make/open book – to take bets on something

  20. to read someone like a book – to easily understand someone’s thoughts/motives without being told them

  21. to throw a book at – to punish severely

If you can think of any others, please leave a comment, we’d love to hear them!

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