Read Someone Like a Book

Meaning of Idiom ‘To Read Someone Like a Book’

To (be able to) read someone like a book means to understand someone completely and to be able to discern their thoughts, emotions, character, motives, desires, etc. 1Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.,2Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.,3Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

See the related idiom an open book.

Examples Of Use

“Don’t try to fool me, I can read you like a book!”

“I love to play poker with John. He always loses because I can read him like a book.”

“I tried to fool my wife the other day and told her I was at work when I was really out with friends. Problem is, she can read me like a book and I knew the jig was up as soon as I walked in the front door.”

Origin

Used since the mid-1800’s.

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.
2. Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.
3. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.