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 English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


BOOKS

Idioms relating to books and reading
from:  'book smart'   to:  'a bookworm'


  • book smart
    • A person who is book smart has a lot of knowledge acquired from books but little pratical experience or social skills.
      "Mr. Brown is book smart but he has no idea how to deal with people."

  • be in someone's good or bad books
    • If you are in somebody's good or bad books, you have their approval or disapproval.
      "I'm in my wife's bad books at the moment because I forgot our wedding anniversary!"

  • bring someone to book
    • If someone is brought to book, they are punished or they have to account for doing something wrong.
      "Sam was brought to book after the presentation. He hadn't prepared it carefully enough."

  • cook the books
    • A person who cooks the books is one who changes the facts or figures in the financial accounts, often in order to steal money.
      "The actor discovered after a while that his agent was cooking the books."

  • a closed book
    • The expression a closed book refers to someone or something difficult to know or understand.
      "Julia is something of a closed book. I know nothing about her."

  • an open book
    • A person described as an open book is someone who shows easily what they are thinking or feeling.
      "We could see immediately that she was delighted with the proposal. Her face was an open book."

  • do something by the book
    • If you do something by the book, you do it by strictly following the rules.
      "If you want it done right, ask James. He does everything by the book!"

  • have your nose in a book
    • If you have your nose in a book, you are totally concentrated on the book you are reading.
      "Julie had her nose in a book during the whole journey."

  • hit the books
    • Someone who hits the books maked a determined effort to study seriously, especially before an exam.
      "I'd love to come to the beach with you but I'm afraid I can't. I've got to hit the books!"

  • read between the lines
    • If you read between the lines you are able to understand something that has not been stated openly or said outright.
      "Although it wasn’t announced that the company was going to close down, I could read between the lines."

  • read from the same page / be on the same page
    • People who read from the same page or who 'are on the same page' have the same understanding or knowledge about something, think in a similar manner or have the same opinion about it as others in a group.
      "We need to be reading from the same page before we talk to the boss."

  • read someone like a book
    • If you can read someone like a book, you are able to understand easily what they are thinking or feeling.
      "Eva has been my best friend since we were children. I can read her like a book!"

  • take a leaf out of someone's book
    • If you take a leaf out of someone's book, you behave like them or follow their example.
      "You should take a leaf out of Hugo's book and start to work harder."

  • the oldest trick in the book
    • A well-known and much-used trick which is still effective today is called the oldest trick in the book.
      "He made noise to attract my attention while his accomplice stole my wallet - the oldest trick in the book!"

  • you can't judge a book by its cover
    • This expressions means that you should not form an opinion from appearance only.
      "He leads a very simple life but in fact he's an extremely rich man. You can't judge a book by its cover!"

  • a bookworm
    • Someone who loves books and spends a lot of time reading is called a bookworm.
      "A book would be the ideal gift. My mother has always been a bookworm."

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