Book Book describes motion that is necessarily extremely fast. I first came into contact with its use as this type of verb in my early childhood, specifically, in the context of running and bike - riding. Its use fell along lines such as these:

"Man, you were booking back there."

"If you want to catch him, you'll have to book."

Invariably, the use of book as a motion verb is descriptive. It cannot be used imperatively, as in

Its use interrogatively is dubious at best, as in the following:

?So, were you booking over there, or what?"

?Will you book to your grandma's this afternoon?

In my experience, book was only used to describe events wherein the key factor was the speed of the individual responsible for the act of booking. That is, if the person's speed was not the main point of the utterance, a different form would be used. Look at

"Bill was flying down the road, when all of a sudden he slams into this bear."

? "Bill was booking down the road, when all of a sudden he slams into this bear."

Without question, the most common form for the verb book to take is the progressive. Perhaps this is due to the fundamentally descriptive (i.e. exceptionally fast) function of boo k as a verb. For example:

"I was booking down that trail."

?"I booked down that trail."

?"I book down that trail on a daily basis."

?"I am going to book down that trail every day for the next five years."

?"I had been booking down that trail for ten minutes before I got tired."

?"I would have booked down that trail, but I'm not wearing socks."

Book as a verb of human motion is (as far as I know) a recent development in English. I say this based upon the seeming unfamiliarity my professor and other individuals of his generation with it. It should be noted that I've never encountered a person of my age group or younger who was unacquainted with book's use as a verb indicative of speedy motion.

Patrick K Morgan