The Maka Chop, a purely comedic attack, apparently imitating Death's "Death Chop" which leaves a similar mark, because Death's hands are the same rough shape as a thick book.
In Soul Eater Not!, Tsugumi and Anya play a game of janken where the winner beats the loser in the head with a rolled up newspaper and the loser has to try and block with a book, but when Tsugumi loses she fumbles and drops it on her own head.
Done in an effective but realistic way in Monster: Christof was reading when Eva jumped him; after she shoots his ear off and still has a gun trained on him, he turns the tables by throwing his book at her, throwing her off-balance for long enough to disarm her and wrestle her to the floor. It was only thanks to Tenma's timely arrival that she survived.
Happens early on: Yuki whaps Shigure over the head with his bookbag to stem his flirting with Tohru.
Shigure: What do you have in there, a dictionary? Yuki:Two of them.
Kyo seems to be a magnet for these sort of attacks. Mayu-sensei uses this on him on occasion as demonstrated here and, of course, Shigure attacks him the same way.
Mai Kawasumi of Kanon bonks Yuuichi with the veterinarian book she was reading when he doubted her chances of becoming a Kindly Vet. Said book was thin and hard-bound, and she smacked him over the head with its spine. Ouch.
In a Fullmetal Alchemist flashback extra, a very young Ed bonks poor little toddler Al over the head with a book.
Alexander Anderson threw a book (presumably a bible) at Alucard once in the Hellsing anime.
While paper is the ammunition of a Paper-User in Read or Die and ROD the TV (thus any book can be sacrificed for an attack), special mention goes to Anita in ROD the TV when she flung a copy of the original Dracula at a vampire-like villain across the room without using her powers with enough force to break his nose (and fling him backwards; setting off his sonic disrupter on himself).
Hiroki from Junjou Romantica, a professor in literature, has a tendency to pelt things at people, books being his forte. He throws quite few at Nowaki during their lovers spat in the university library.
Rurouni Kenshin: Kenshin tries chucking books at Aoshi and pushing a bookcase over on him in their rematch. Doesn't work.
Rinne: "BIBLE CORNER CRUSH!" For some reason, Tsubasa claims he can only do this one time a week.
Manabizaki from SWOT uses his textbooks (or whatever books he has handy) as weapons against all the delinquents in his school. It does fit with him being a Badass Bookworm.
In Gosick, Victorica occasionally hits Kazuya with a book when he's being stupid. She later uses a pile of them to knock the fake Avril Bradley down a flight of stairs.
In WORKING!!, Souta's sister Kazue is a lawyer with a habit of using quite large legal texts as weapons. Souta at one point outright says that Kazue became a lawyer precisely because then she'd have an excuse to carry around law books to use as weapons.
Subverted in Shakugan no Shana with Margery Daw and Marcosius. Margery regularly abuses Marcosius, who has the form of a book.
There's a fake preview in one of the Hyakko episodes which makes it seem the next episode will be something more along Neon Genesis Evangelion lines than Hyakko — including a scene where Amagasa-sensei holds the students at gunpoint until Touma knocks the gun out of his hand with a blow from a book.
In one episode of Samurai Champloo, this is Bundai's preferred method of discipline to Mugen when the former's teaching the latter how to read.
In Servant × Service, this is Yamagami's favoured method of attacking Hasebe whenever he gets onto her nerves. In manga, when Taishi complained about Yamagami attacking people with work documents, she replied there were only waste paper in those folders; which means she prepared those folders to hit people with.
In Kill la Kill, Ira Gamagoori can use school regulation pocket books as weapons, because they're made of folded steel.
Several books appear as weapons in Munchkin, including the Very Holy Book, the Splatbook, and, in Munchkin Zombies, The Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse. Illustration: a zombie dropping it on an unsuspecting human's head. Flavor text: "It's useful for zombies too, though in a different way."
In The Black Bunny Draco discovers the hazards of annoying Hermione in a library.
In Retro Chill, Galaxoid tosses a planet field guide at Rupert. It doesn't do much, but its contents reveals (to them, anyway) that Calvin is not the Earth's leader.
In Naruto's Kit, Sasuke Uchiha is on trial, charged with "Betrayal of the village to a well-known and confirmed enemy. Attempted murder of a leaf shinobi with lethal intent on several occasions. Conspired to aid a criminal organization. Attempted kidnapping of a leaf shinobi with lethal intent. And endangerment of a leaf village child on one proven occasion." When asked for his professional opinion, Naruto says they should throw the book at him. Subsequently, when court adjourns for a recess, the fic's title character, Akane Uzumaki, borrows Kakashi's copy of Icha Icha and throws it, hitting Sasuke in the back of the head. When everyone looks at her in surprise, her only reply is "What? Otou-san said to throw a book at him."
A non-comedic example of this happens in System Restore, when Togami almost hits Nanami with a book upon realizing that she knows they're the Super High School Level Imposter.
Films — Live-Action
In Bourne Ultimatum, during a high-speed fight where every single object in the room is used as a weapon, one of them happens to be a book. It's used both as a shield and as a bludgeon.
In Saved!, a parody about over-the-top Christians, the Alpha Bitch throws a Bible at a "sinful" girl. Which is followed by one of the best (and/)or most Anvilicious lines in the entire movie.
Mary: This (holding the bible) is not a weapon!
Friday the 13th Part III had a scene where Chris, while on the floor above Jason, knocks a bookcase over the balcony ledge, causing hundreds of books to rain down on Jason.
A Jerk Jock is beat to death with a book in Bad Reputation.
The French comedic movie Les Ripouxnote a slang word which mean Corrupt Cop, it is Exactly What It Says on the Tin (known as My New Partner or Le Cop in English) have a few scenes when suspects are hit on the head with a telephone book while being interrogated by the heroes.
In Logan's Run, Francis and Logan are fighting in the House of Representatives in the Capitol Building (It Makes Sense in Context), during which Francis throws books as weapons.
Keanu Reeves gets to use a phone book for an interrogation in Street Kings.
The film version of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has a blink-and-you-miss-it moment in the melee with the slavers, when Lucy clocks two of them upside the head with their own ledger.
Poor old Albert in Mort discovers just how painful his trope can be when his charges drops the book that contained the story of his entire life on top of his head. And since he's a wizard who's stayed alive for hundreds of years by living in Death's domain, it's a very long and heavy book.
Actually, he has a whole shelf of books, and they just dropped the most recent volume on him. (They wanted it down at floor level for reading anyway.)
In Guards! Guards!, Vimes orders Carrot to "throw the book" at the perpetrator. Carrot takes this literally. Since the book weighs about ten pounds and the criminal is standing near a ledge, the criminal is knocked over the edge and falls to his death. Considering that Carrot's literal-mindedness is one of his defining characteristics, and Vimes's gradually increasing wiliness, it's very difficult to figure out if this outcome was accidental or intentional.
Shawn Ogg (Lancre's standing army; except when he's lying down) in Lords and Ladies is trying to learn martial arts from a book, and then, when push comes to shove, ends up whacking the enemy with the book.
Another lethal Discworld book: How to Kille Insects, which is ridiculously huge and weighs about ten pounds; presumably if all else fails, one could use the book to squash insects. In Men at Arms, the Librarian whacks Cuddy over the head with this book so hard, his helmet gets stuck.
In The Secret Series, the author, Pseudonymous Bosch, often brings up this point in more than one of his books.
The Name of This Book is Secret:[This book] probably won't injure you at all. Unless somebody throws it at you, which is a possibility that should never be discounted.
This Isn't What It Looks Like:Use of this book for other than the intended purpose is not advised. While it may seem like an ideal projectile, the makers of this book cannot guarantee your safety if you throw it at someone. There is always the possibility that that person will throw it back.''
Subverted by The Monkees: A police detective says "Throw the book at them!" while interrogating the boys; Micky catches the book and begins to read it.
The main character of The Invisible Man has a massive book of famous quotes, that he apparently uses when narrating the opening of each episode. Once, his nemesis ambushes him in his apartment by clubbing him over the head with that book.
Babylon 5 does this in one episode late in the series. G'Kar, having unwillingly acquired followers after writing a book, uses the book to teach one unthinking follower an object lesson. "If the book is holy and I am holy, then I must help you to become closer to thoughts of the Universe. Put your face in the book." Despite the follower's nervousness, he finally does as he is asked. The predictable happens with a satisfying slap.
In the episode "Altar Egos", a flashback has young Michael playing the prosecutor in the school play The Trial of Captain Hook and requesting the judge to do this (in song).
In the following episode, "Justice Is Blind", adult Michael actually does throw a book at Maggie Lizer to prove she's only pretending to be blind. Unfortunately, she's been temporarily blinded for real and the book connects.
The Avengers: During a fight in the village library in "Murdersville", Steed grabs an armful of books off the shelf and hurls them at an attacker.
Once Upon a Time: Belle does this trope one better by overturning a library cart full of books on her attacker.
On one edition of Monday Night Raw, Lita was being interviewed in the ring, plugging her recently-released autobiography. Molly Holly later came down, clobbered Lita with her own book, tore several pages out and shoved them down Lita's throat.
In Flying Frog's Touch of Evil, the schoolteacher starts out with 2 hit points and 2 attack points. For every book you can find and give her, she gets a 2-point bonus to her attacks. At maximum (10 books in the deck), she still has two hit points, but an attack rating of 22 points; which, by the game's mechanics, theoretically could knock Cthulhu out in one punch.
Ordinarily, Goofy uses shields as his Improbable Weapon. However, one of The Heartless enemies is a living book called a Bookmaster. They sometimes Randomly Drop inert versions of themselves called Akashic Records. What does Goofy do with what possibly might be a record of the mind of God or the universal consciousness? Hit people with it.
Zexion also uses his book for spells and good, ol' physical beating.
The MMORPG has a vast variety of book-type weapons for priests and magicians. They're more effective (And amusing) for direct combat then rods and staves, but tend to be less effective at boosting spell damage.
Star Gladiators actually attack enemies physically. Not with the books, no, though they equip them as weapons. They kick the enemy to death, and seem to use the books they've equipped as some sort of manual or something rather than as actual weapons.
Aloutte of La Pucelle: Tactics wields a book as her weapon in battle. She also uses it to smack the main character in the head when she's being particularly difficult.
Claus from Tales of Phantasia will use his books as a weapon if he doesn't have enough mana to summon something.
Hitting people with Rita's spellbook is a possible melee option in Tales of Vesperia as well.
Touhou: Patchouli Knowledge, the ElementalistBadass Bookworm, carries no weapons, ever... so in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, which is a fighting game, when people get near her, she is forced to rely on her trusty tomes to smack people's faces away from her and back in range of her more explosive spells. These book attacks are also surprisingly strong, for being wielded by an anemic, asthmatic mage.
In Riviera: The Promised Land, Fia can use a book to heal the party, while Cierra will use it to cast a spell on the enemy. Other characters will simply opt to throw the book for damage. Some enemy magicians also use their books as projectile weapons, though they prefer to use them for summoning or offensive magic.
While characters' artwork in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance have a variety of weapons in their hands, from large swords to cool rods to a simple wooden bow, Montblanc carries a book. Unfortunately, books couldn't be equipped in that game though.
Speaking of throwing books, Final Fantasy Tactics also allows you to do just that, literally, via the Ninja class (the Mediator/Orator class has books for weapons, though they read from it to attack so they don't count), which has the ability to throw almost any weapon in the game. Thrown weapons always do damage based on the weapon's attack power, even when (as is the case with books, as their attack power isn't based on physically attacking) that doesn't make any logical sense.
Silent Wise King Cai from Brigandine whacks people with his tome when he is forced to fight up close.
In a variant, Tibia has mages using Spell Books as shields.
In Suikoden II, Nina uses books, tied to the end of a belt, to smack enemies out of her way.
Soul Nomad & the World Eaters. The Clerics, while in the front row, will hit the opponent with their holy book. A useless attack, but worth watching purely for a good laugh. If you don't put your clerics in the front row to see this in action, fear not, because a Cleric Gatekeeper at Zazana uses this same attack to keep a noisome intruder from going into town — one who goes by the name of Odie.
In Vandal Hearts 2, there's a Special-type item called Textbook. While it does hold more spells/skills than other weapons, it has a second-highest ATK power of all Special-Type weapon, even described "the edges of this book is a deadly weapon."
In Atelier Annie books are rather weak physically, but give their users decent magic boosts.
Mentioned in Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana, there exists a rivalry between Lita and Veola. Veola, a shopkeeper and inventor, is able to use books you find throughout the series to discover formulas for powerful items, and often claims that Lita would only use the books to bash someone on the head with.
Elizabeth uses a book as her weapon during the Bonus Boss fight in Persona 3. She throws it at you for Strike attacks, but conjures cards from the pages for Slash and Pierce attacks.
In the .hack//G.U. Games, Shadow Warlocks (like Gaspard and Sakubo) use a weird floating pedestal with an open book as a weapon. It's a floating Spell Book for their special attacks, but their weak regular attacks involve grabbing the pedestal / handle and swinging the whole contraption like a club.
One of Jason Bourne's Limit Break in The Bourne Conspiracy involves him beating his opponent with a book.
Books are a weapon type in Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City. Interestingly, while the character art presents them as the Zodiac's Weapon of Choice, any character can equip and use books... probably because it doesn't take much training to smack people around with one.
Cassandra Pentaghast in Dragon Age II throws a book at Varric Tethras in the introduction to get him to start talking about the Champion of Kirkwall. Subsequent dialogue reveals it is, in fact, a book that he wrote.
In Ghostbusters: The Video Game, you spend one stage inside a public library. Many of the supernatural forces pitted against you involve books of some sort: ranging from Book Bats (possessed books that fly at you) to Paper Constructs and Book Centurions (paper and books that collect into a shape to attack you) to Book Golems (hundreds of books collected into a giant that chases you around).
In the 1996 version of Where is the USA is Carmen Sandiego, depending on which state you caught the various crooks in, one of the Good Guides would make an appearance and forcibly arrest the crook. One of these, Herman Nootix, literally threw books at the criminals to take them down.
In one of the "Where in the World" games, Herman would sometimes pull a huge book out of his coat and close it on the thief, flattening them.
Elizabeth in BioShock Infinite throws books at Booker DeWitt when she finds he has entered her quarters inside the Statue Of Columbia on Monument Island.
Nageki Fujishiro of Hatoful Boyfriend has been known in the manga and the Drama CD to throw books at people being overly disruptive or disrespectful to the books when in the library. Ryouta lampshades this by saying hitting people with books will hurt the books too - especially since Nageki says someone defiling books in front of him a second time will be hit with the corners. ...In the games themselves he's rather more shy.
In the Nametags story Arc of Full Frontal Nerdity, the DM Frank renders Lewis, a player who put "Zeus" on his tag, unconscious with a D&D rulebook.
Precocious features Autumn (and some other Poppinstock Academy kids) being teased by an off-screen kid. She mocks his pretty lame insults, and suggests that "Maybe a dictionary will help you!" Since it's being described on this page... And a reference to the sticks and stones bit too: "Your words have hurt me."
The Cracked article "5 Things Movies Don't Tell You About Mental Institutions" included an anecdote where the co-author of the piece found herself being harassed by a creepy guy who whispered to any women he passed that he was going to rape her at night. One day, he suddenly decided to barge into the co-author's room uninvited. Thankfully, she was not shy about being violent when in danger and was reading one of the later, and more importantly, thicker Harry Potter books. So, after the guy refused to leave despite her screaming at him, pushing him out, and threatening to hurt him, she socked him one right in the face and proceeded to beat him with the Doorstopper until nearby orderlies heard the commotion, separated them, and put the guy under stricter supervision.
Books are the weapon of choice for thirteen-year-old rebel militia leader Tamika Flynn of Welcome to Night Vale. Usually fired from a slingshot. Despite living in a town where students are regularly provided firearms by paramilitary government agencies (and often have to use them against the horrors of everyday life), Tamika and her "book club" are among the most effective combatants around.
It probably helps that certain books, like the hardback edition of The Awakening by Kate Chopin, are apparently sold with things like teargas canisters attached to the back cover.
Garfield once used a "good, BIG book" in an attempt to cure his insomnia by hitting himself over the head with it repeatedly.
Some cartoons featuring a cat waking a character up at night have the character throwing a book (say, The Thin Man) at That Poor Cat, but the book's sequel is thrown back at him (thus, The Thin Man Returns). Such cartoons include Porky's Badtime Story and its remake, Tick Tock Tuckered.
In From Hare to Heir, Yosemite Sam institutes the "nose in the book" penalty on his accountant.
In the Wartime CartoonBrother Brat, a Rosie the Riveter type leaves her baby in Porky's care, along with a book on child rearing for help. After following the advice fails to control the unruly kid, she shows Porky the correct way of using the book - as a spanking paddle.
Avatar: The Last Airbender . In "The Library", Sokka manages to beat back knowledge spirit Wan-Shi-tong by sneak attacking him with really big book. Specifically, Sokka had Aang drop him from his glider from about 4 meters up then pounded down on the owl's skull while falling.
Humorously used in an episode of The Simpsons. Homer is trying to think of a way to get out of jail when Hans Moleman comes by with a book cart. Homer picks up a book on digging tunnels and says that the book gives him an idea. He then knocks out Moleman by hitting him with the book and runs out the open cell door.
In one Ed, Edd n Eddy episode, the Eds (read: Double D) are trying to figure out how to get the especially amorous Kankers off their backs. After watching Rolf using a smaller rock to break down bigger rocks, he comes up with the analogy that "only a rock can break a rock" (annoying Eddy) and notes that to win, they'll use reverse-psychology. Of course, when Double D pulled out the textbook on the subject, Eddy assumed they were going to hit the Kankers with it.
One Robot Chicken short showed a courtroom judge lob a book at the defendant and fall short. He asks the bailiff to retrieve it and throws it again, hitting his mark.
In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Judgement Day", courtroom-themed vigilante The Judge tells The Riddler, "It's about time someone threw the book at you!" and drops a car-sized book on him, nearly killing him.
Chowder: In "The Poultry Geist", Mung attempts to drive out the spirit possessing Chowder by using a copy of the Snackronomicon. He does this by whacking Chowder with the book.
In a strange way, this is how Felix the Cat saved the day in The Movie, by throwing an ancient book at the Duke of Zil's Master Cylinder, resulting in the destruction of the Duke's entire army. Poindexter surmised that the book had an adverse effect on the Master Cylinder's circuitry and the rest army went down with because it was the source of their power. Felix believe that was the power of good in the book that did the job.
Not quite a book, but a legislator in Taiwan once attacked a colleague on the floor with a newspaper. Since it was in one of those wooden holders libraries use (a third cousin of the shinai used in kendo), it probably hurt. note The only thing unusual about this event is the choice of weapon. Fist fights are the norm. They are not considered unusual events in the Taiwanese legislature.
Evidently, the phrase that is the Trope Namer used to be literal; if a criminal was going to be given a harsh sentence, the judge would throw a law book at the crook.
After Leon Trotsky's assassin whacked him on the head with an ice-ax, Trotsky was still conscious enough to throw several books at his assassin.
The Boar's Head Feast celebrates the time in the 1300s that an Oxford student was attacked by a boar. He shoved his book down the animal's throat, and it choked and died.
The spine of a sufficiently thick mass-market paperback might as well be a piece of petrified wood, as it's very tightly-bound paper. Clock someone upside the head with a paperback version of Harry Potter 7, The Silmarillion, or Dune, and they might well fall victim to a VERY substantial concussion. Ironically, the bindings of a hardcover book soften the blow in comparison.
The most common size and binding for the average manga makes it nicely hand-sized when gripped opposite to the spine, and just thin and strong enough for effective aimed strikes to areas such as the wrist. If you're already holding a book, there are much worse choices for an Improvised Weapon.
An essay by Evan Connell mentions that when Thomas Huxley, while defending Charles Darwin's theory, responded to a nasty remark with a magnificent comebacknote The other fellow asked if Huxley were descended from an ape on his grandfather's or his grandmother's side. Huxley replied, in effect, "I'd rather be descended from an ape than from you.", one of the onlookers, "trembling with honorable Christian rage, picked up a Bible and was just prevented from throwing it at Huxley."
In an interesting love declaration to this trope, some German self-defence classes suggest that one should always carry an issue of Der Spiegel with oneself, because, since the magazine is thick, unusually short, and printed on rather sturdy (and heavier-than-average) paper, it can make quite a potent billy club replacement when curled up.