Metaphors of the Book

Metaphors We Live By by Lakoff and Johnson

In Metaphors We Live By (1980, 2003) by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, the authors discuss that how we talk is shaped by how we think. And how we think is based on basic assumptions or metaphors. A classic one most humans has is, “Up is good, down is bad.” Lakoff and Johnson suggest that this metaphor is based upon the fact that we walk upright. Lakoff went off to write a lot about the “emobodied mind.” My interpretation of that is all language uses the body as its basis.

When I think of all the reasons people want to write books, all the reasons why I have books in my life, I realized that books are many meanings. Books are metaphors or standisn for many different things for many different people.

(I’m not kidding when I say that I woke up this morning drafting this blog post.)

Here are my Metaphors of the Book.

Book as Escape (or Tool of Escape)
Book as Sacred Object
Book as Talisman
Book as Tool
Book as Status Symbol
Book as Calling Card
Book as Friend
Book as Security Blanket
Book as Door Stop
Book as Fuel
Book as Renewable Resource
Book as Revolution
Book as Person
Book as Transformation
Book as Meal Ticket
Book as Community
Book as Gift
Book as Promise
Book as Adventure
Book as Experience

What are your metaphors of the book? What does having books, writing a book, buying a book mean to you?

For more on Geroge Lakoff and conceptual metaphors, check out this Wikipedia entry.

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