Shipping Books

Reading is the most economical form of transportation and often educational as well. More often than not (I don’t get out much.) when I read a novel I use Google Earth or Google Maps to learn more about the physical setting for the book. A location is just as much a character in a book as the protagonist and/or antagonist.

One of my favorite poems by Emily Dickinson likens books to a form of transportation. And not just any transportation but those one might see doing battle. As if to infer that reading a book will be an adventure or possibly misadventure depending upon the story. Anyway, Emily’s poem follows:

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,

Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.

This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll

How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!


A frigate was a medium-sized square-rigged warship of the 18th and 19th centuries.

A courser was a swift and strong horse, frequently used during the Middle Ages as a warhorse. It was ridden by knights and soldiers.

To traverse is to use a zigzag course or courses made by a ship in passing from one place to another.

Excerpt From: Dickinson, Emily. “Poems (Vol. 3).” Bookbyte Digital. iBooks.