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Does that literally mean 'a talk about books'?

Here is where I saw that word.

Whatever he feels, he can put into language. And no mere commonplace language, either, but out-and-out book talk - and bristling with metaphor, too- just bristling!

  • This is the speech of a "hick" or "hayseed" (except for the "bristling with metaphor" part) – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 28 '15 at 9:56
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The source of this quote is Mark Twain's short story "Jim Baker's Blue-Jay Yarn", published in his 1880 collection A Tramp Abroad. (For future reference, whenever you give a quote, you should always include the source where it came from - this often helps give useful context.)

In this context, I would interpret "book talk" as meaning "talk of the sort that can be found in books". In other words, formal and well-composed speech, as opposed to casual chatter ("commonplace language").

A similar construction is "book learning", meaning formal education, as opposed to natural intelligence. This phrase is old-fashioned and is stereotypically used by uneducated people.

The speaker of this quote is Jim Baker, "a middle-aged, simple-hearted miner", who is probably intended to fit that stereotype. The use of "talk" as a noun to mean "speech" is probably also intended to be typical of rural dialects.

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The passage is from A Tramp Abroad. Mark Twain is describing the eloquence and fluency of bluejays.

In this context it means language of high quality, as good as that which is published in books.

http://mark-twain.classic-literature.co.uk/a-tramp-abroad/ebook-page-06.asp

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