"You turned the page, I burned the book"

What is the meaning of this quote?

According to the dictionary, "turn the page" means

to begin to behave in a more positive way after a period of difficulties

This can also mean moving on to a new chapter in life. However, I am unable to figure out the meaning behind "I burned the book". Does the book signify life? What does "burned the book" represent if "turning the page" means moving on?

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    To allow for better answers to this question, please provide the context in which you originally saw this phrase used. Depending upon context it could have several different meanings. – Cameron Mar 6 '17 at 18:20

If you are asking for literary interpretation of a new phrase, here goes.

In the little context given, burning the book sounds like the writer is taking the expression turning the page to its logical conclusion: You turned one page, I turned / burned every page.

You have made a small change in attitude, and I have made the most radical of changes! You have moved on from XYZ. I have destroyed any memory (burned) of the entire incident (the book). Wait, what incident was that anyway?

See, for comparison, the lyrics to Gotye's Somebody That I Used To Know:

Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
I guess that I don't need that though
Now you're just somebody that I used to know.

If you can't turn the page, burn the book

is a saying that means if you can't make progress where you are then go somewhere else.

If there are problems in a relationship, or friendship, then turning the page means putting the problems behind you and starting a new phase. We need to say that whatever has happened was in the past, and now we are going to move on. We cannot stay on the old page, constantly bickering, or harbouring resentment.

Sadly, people sometimes find this is impossible to do. If they are unable to "turn the page" then they could remain always on the same page, never able to make progress. Then someone may say "if you can't turn the page then it is better to burn the book". This means, rather than stay stuck in a situation where progress is impossible, we may need to destroy the situation completely and move onto a completely new book, perhaps a new relationship or other friendships.

Another situation which can arise is where a person finds he is unable to make progress at work. Perhaps he is seen negatively by management, or perhaps there are simply no openings for progression. Such a person wants to turn the page, to move onto the next chapter in his career. But, if he is unable to turn the page then he may decide to burn the book by looking for a job elsewhere.

There are a variety of contexts the OPs quote could be used. For example, two men may each have been experiencing difficulties with their respective girlfriends. One resolved them and the other did not and ended up leaving her. That one may say to his friend "you turned the page, I burned the book."


I think this means someone left you behind, while "I burned the book" means not giving a damn about anything like you totally ended the whole relationship. 'Cause burning the book means there is no other way to look back.


This I how I interpreted it. "you turned the page"... ( you started a new chapter; without the other person. i.e A new relationship)

"...I burned the book"... (burned the whole story; beginning of a brand new story)

Story of my life right now! Thank you for your time and eyes. Love Mucho, Kitty!


I think this has to do with friendship. Its kind of like, something happened, and you and your friend are farther apart. They look for a new one, and you have just left. They try and talk to you about it, but you wont listen. You kind of burned the book, and you might regret it. Coulda been a good book.

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