Created By: MasterheartsXIII on December 14, 2012 Last Edited By: MasterheartsXIII on February 5, 2013
Troped

Flying Books

When books, possibly possessed or enchanted, fly around using their pages as wings.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Whether by magic or by haunting, books are many times portrayed as being able to fly. This is usually done by the book turning with its spine facing up, splitting its pages down the middle, and then flapping its halves like a bird. If in a video game, may be used as a minor mook. See also Books That Bite.

[[Folder:Film]]
  • The Necronomicon in Army of Darkness does this.
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore is an Academy Award-winning animated short film by William Joyce about a man who discovers an entire library of flying books, and becomes their friend and guardian.

[[Folder:Literature]]
  • In Terry Pratchett's Discworld, the Librarian of Unseen University makes it perfectly clear that if you want to consult the books on flying and levitation spells, you've got to catch them first. He will lend you the very long stepladders, however, as they're generally to be found flying around in the roofspace somewhere.

[[Folder:Live-Action TV]]

[[Folder:Tabletop Games]]

[[Folder:Video Games]]
  • Epic Mickey has a level in the Lonesome Manor, where, as an extra mission, Mickey can chase down flying books and spray them with paint, gumming up their pages and making them fall out of the sky so they can be collected.
  • Super Mario 64 has a few of these show up in the original Big Boo's Haunt
  • In Banjo-Kazooie, Cheato, the big book of cheat codes hovers in place while flapping his pages.
  • Some earlier versions of Harry Potter 's video game have flying book present as enemies (they try to ram you out of certain platforms) and others serving as platforms.
  • The haunted castle setting for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has a library with hostile flying books.
  • The library chapter in Drawn: Dark Flight not only has books flying around, but one of the puzzles involves catching some of them with a butterfly net.
  • Eternal Darkness: One of the Sanity effects in the Roivas mansion involves books in the library flying between the shelves.
  • The Grimoires from Nier can fly.
  • Secret of Mana (and possibly some of the other Seiken Densetsu games) has animated books that flutter around. They also flip their pages to cast spells.
  • In RuneScape, flying books can be found in Daemonheim as minions of the feared libraromancer Lexicus Runewright.

[[Folder:Web Comics]]
  • Axe Cop at one point features an evil flying book, who turns out to be a robot.

[[Folder:Western Animation]]
  • The Christmas special The Story of Santa Claus has one, the somewhat-anthropomorphic flying book of Nostros, the wizard.
  • The CGI opening of Amazing Stories featured this.

Community Feedback Replies: 48
  • December 14, 2012
    CosmicOsmo
    Did The Pagemaster do this? I mean, it was about anthropomorphic books, after all. They could have flown at some point.

    Can someone else who remembers the movie back me up on whether or not the books flew?
  • December 14, 2012
    CaveCat
    ^Yes, the books did fly, but it was only in the horror section and they were referred to as 'Ghost Stories'.
  • December 14, 2012
    jbrecken
    This effect was in the title sequence of Amazing Stories.
  • December 14, 2012
    shimaspawn
    • In Banjo Kazooie, Cheato, the big book of cheat codes hovers in place while flapping his pages.
  • December 15, 2012
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Dungeons And Dragons adventure OA7 Test of the Samurai. When the magical Book of Hsi is activated it flaps its pages and flies around.
  • December 15, 2012
    Onitatsu
    Some earlier versions of Harry Potter 's video game have flying book present as enemies (they try to ram you out of certain platforms) and others serving as platforms.
  • December 15, 2012
    elwoz
    Mirrormask features flying books but I don't remember the details.
  • December 15, 2012
    Generality
    ^ In Mirrormask books return to the library if they feel rejected. They don't flap, but float smoothly with their covers up, making them convenient to stand on and use as a one-way taxi service.
  • December 15, 2012
    Xtifr
    Live-Action TV

  • December 15, 2012
    SharleeD
    • In Sourcery, the books from the Unseen University Library flee to the Tower of Art to hide when the Sourcerer orders them burned. At the end of the novel, the Librarian directs them to fly back to the Library in a huge flock.
  • December 17, 2012
    McKathlin
  • December 17, 2012
    Antigone3
    Videogames: The library chapter in Drawn: Dark Flight not only has books flying around, but one of the puzzles involves catching some of them with a butterfly net.
  • December 18, 2012
    dvorak
    see also Books That Bite
  • December 18, 2012
    nitrokitty
    • Eternal Darkness: One of the Sanity effects in the Roivas mansion involves books in the library flying between the shelves.
  • December 23, 2012
    TonyG
    The William Joyce short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mister Morris Lessmore.
  • December 29, 2012
    KTera
    • The Grimoires from Nier can fly.
  • January 8, 2013
    chicagomel
    Didn't The Sword In The Stone, the Disney version, have one of these? I could be mistaken.

    Western animation: The Christmas special The Story of Santa Claus has one, the somewhat-anthropomorphic flying book of Nostros, the wizard.
  • January 8, 2013
    Duncan
    The CGI opening of Amazing Stories featured this.
  • January 8, 2013
    bulmabriefs144
    • Secret Of Mana (and possibly some of the other Seiken Densetsu games) has animated books that flutter around. They also flip their pages to cast spells.
  • January 9, 2013
    Arivne
    ^^^ @chicagomel: "Didn't The Sword In The Stone, the Disney version, have one of these?"

    If you're remembering the "Higitus Figitus" sequence where Merlin's spell causes his belongings to move through the air and into a bag, it doesn't appear to be this trope. The books are just floating along like the other objects, not flapping their covers like wings and flying.
  • January 9, 2013
    Xtifr
    Flapping the pages shouldn't be a required element (the description merely says that it's the usual method). But if it's a bunch of objects floating, some of which just happen to be books, then I'd say not-an-example. Also, if they're being moved (by magic or telekinesis) rather than moving themselves, I'd also say not-an-example.
  • January 10, 2013
    MasterheartsXIII
    I agree. While they may be somewhat sentient, given that a lot of objects in that room seemed to know what was going on and/or able to attack a teapot, the books themselves were unable,as far as we know, to fly on their own.
  • January 11, 2013
    AgProv
    In Terry Pratchett's Discworld, the Librarian of Unseen University makes it perfectly clear that if you want to consult the books on flying and levitation spells, you've got to catch them first. He will lend you the very long stepladders, however, as they're generally to be found flying around in the roofspace somewhere.
  • January 15, 2013
    MasterheartsXIII
    ready to publish? assuming i move everything to the description. what index?

  • January 15, 2013
    Xtifr
    Speculative Fiction Tropes, to start. Also might want to look for indexes about books, and about flying. (I'm pretty sure we have a flying index; not as sure about a book index.)

    Updating your main text so people can see at a glance what we have so far is probably the best way to get hats. I think it also encourages new examples.
  • January 16, 2013
    MasterheartsXIII
    well to be honest, i could use some help. which of these potential examples is a definite. There seems to be a lot of controversy over a couple of them.
  • January 16, 2013
    MasterheartsXIII
    There is a Bookish Tropes index.
  • January 16, 2013
    Xtifr
    ^^ Add the ones you're sure about, and make a post listing the ones you didn't, to help the rest of us keep it all straight. Because I've gotten a little lost.

    (I think we've mostly agreed that The Sword in the Stone doesn't count, if that helps.) :)
  • January 17, 2013
    MasterheartsXIII
    What is Discworld / sourcery?

  • January 17, 2013
    MasterheartsXIII
    Also what was decided about Pagemaster?
  • January 17, 2013
    Xtifr
    Literature.Discworld is the series, Discworld.Sourcery is a novel in the series.
  • January 17, 2013
    troacctid
    • In RuneScape, flying books can be found in Daemonheim as minions of the feared libraromancer Lexicus Runewright.
  • January 17, 2013
    dubey
    Tabletop Games

    Western Animation
    • Averted in the The Sword In The Stone. During Higitus Figitus, the books simply fly into the bag without the flapping normally associated with flying books.
  • January 18, 2013
    Lavalyte
    the Necronomicon in Army Of Darkness does this.
  • January 18, 2013
    troacctid
    ^^ Aversions aren't notable for this trope.
  • January 18, 2013
    MasterheartsXIII
    ^^^ should i change tabletop rpg's to tabletope games?
  • January 18, 2013
    MasterheartsXIII
    and how do i note film and literature so that it is linked.
  • January 18, 2013
    Xtifr
    Yes, use Tabletop Games. Also, when you launch, you should change the AC sections to folders, and folders don't support links, so there's no point in linking film or literature. (But for the record, you use curly-braces, like {{Film}}, to link such things.)

    You should, however, fix Discworld to be a link, Discworld. (Spelled ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''.)

    Since you're obviously a bit inexperienced with these things, let me say kudos on spotting that aversions aren't appropriate for this trope. :)

    Gave you a hat as well.
  • January 24, 2013
    MasterheartsXIII
    ^ Thanks! i mean i have been on this website for a while. I just have only recently started adding my own. SO basically i know how to (usually) link tropes, just not all these folders and other YKTTW specific stuff. and is folder just the same as ac with folder instead of ac? and for the record, what does AC mean?

  • January 24, 2013
    elwoz
    ^ The markup in the draft currently has things like [[AC:{{Literature}}]], which renders as Literature. (If memory serves, "AC" stands for "ass caps". I don't know why we call it that. Everyone else calls this "small caps".)

    The current convention is that pages should always use folders instead of AC: for example categorization. But we don't do that in a YKTTW draft because folders don't work in YKTTW. So when you launch, you need to go through and replace every [[AC:whatever]] with [[folder:whatever]], plus some more bits. I suggest looking at an existing short page with folders to see how it's done.
  • January 24, 2013
    Tuckerscreator
    Webcomics
    • Axe Cop at one point features an evil flying book, who turns out to be a robot.
  • January 24, 2013
    Xtifr
    You can use folders at YKTTW. It doesn't render properly, but most people know how to read it. If you'd like, Masterhearts, I can add the folder markup for you before you launch.

    Oh, and "AC" stands for "all caps". Ass-caps is just an amusing nickname some people have tagged it with.
  • January 25, 2013
    MasterheartsXIII
    ^ I'll take care of it, but thanks anyways.
  • February 4, 2013
    MasterheartsXIII
    Someone tell me if i need more examples or if this is ready to publish. (I am aware that I need to change it to folders and index it and all that jazz, but in terms of examples is it ready?)
  • February 4, 2013
    troacctid
    Sure, other than the folders, it looks launch-ready to me. There's a couple work titles that need to be italicized too.
  • February 5, 2013
    Xtifr
    Yeah. It's kind of video-game heavy, but 18 examples is certainly enough to launch, and the description seems adequate, if somewhat bare-bones. For indexes, I think you want to use Speculative Fiction Tropes, Bookish Tropes and Flying Tropes.

    eta: here's a last second example I found while looking around for a possible page image:

    Film - Animated:
    • The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore is an Academy Award-winning animated short film by William Joyce about a man who discovers an entire library of flying books, and becomes their friend and guardian.
  • February 5, 2013
    MasterheartsXIII
    ooh thanks i forgot about page image. also since i am not witty someone else will need to come in and add the one liners. and also thanks i got those same indices.
  • February 5, 2013
    MasterheartsXIII
    How do i bold the folder names?

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=m7kikveg6e27ym31im3rov9p&trope=FlyingBooks