Friday, April 6, 2012

Book Metaphors: Six Ideas and Counting


What is a book to you, metaphorically speaking?

Others have weighed in on the subject, as evidenced by the following six quotes:

1. "Books are the compasses and telescopes and sextants and charts which other men have prepared to help us navigate the dangerous seas of human life." --Jesse Lee Bennett

2. "Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time." --E.P. Whipple

3. "A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of  counselors." --Henry Ward Beecher

4. "Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind."--James Russell Lowell

5. "Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." --Charles W. Eliot

6. "Books are a uniquely portable magic." --Stephen King

Six quotes turn into fifteen metaphors: compass, telescope, sextant, chart, lighthouse, garden, orchard, storehouse, party, company, counselor, bee, friend, teachermagic.

But we don't have to stop there. We're writers--how about making up a few of our own?

Photos courtesy of sxc.hu
My contribution: "a book is a ticket." A ticket to worlds and stories, places and things, ideas, insights, and imagination. A ticket to colors and wonder, images and emotions, mystery, heart tugs and promise. A ticket to the tapestries and threads of history and humanity--and to hope.

Would love to hear your ideas. How would you describe a book, metaphorically speaking?

12 comments:

  1. Like all the descriptions especially the Stephen King one.

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  2. Thanks, Rachna :-) I like that one, too...

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  3. Interesting challenge. I've been thinking about it for a couple of days.

    For a reader, I think a book is a kind of hideaway, a place where I can get away from everything for a while. For a writer, a book is more than that. I can't just GO to that hideaway, I have to CREATE it first.

    I like metaphors. I expect I'll think some more about this one. :)

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  4. For me a book is like a portal to another world, traveling through time or space or both. But I loved James Russell Lowell's metaphor.

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  5. "Hideaway" and "portal"--two more great metaphors for books :-) Thanks, Peggy and Elizabeth. The list grows!

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  6. I love this post!!! Books are so many things to me - my first reaction is to pick friend or magic. Oh, I just thought of a good metaphor - a portal! Love these quotes. I'm tweeting this...

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  7. For certain pieces of literature, novels can be a like an abstract piece of art. Everyone can have their own interpretation of what it is to be learned from it, or what the author was trying to capture.

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  8. For me a good book is a transportation to a world filled with secrets that are not being let out at once but piece by piece. That's just makes me desire for more of the book. Makes me continue reading

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  9. Really love the Stephen King one

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  10. A book is a portal into another being's mind, to be used by those whose own lives seem dull and in need of some mischief.

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