Karissa, Clemens Mill & Hespeler | April 1, 2015
I like my characters like I like my friends: impossibly quick-witted, adventure-loving, and well-read. There is no shortage of book-lovers in media these days. It’s true that the media often portrays readers in an unfortunately stereo-typical way, but every once in a while a truly amazing reader character comes along. Here are my 5 favourite well-read characters in contemporary fiction.
Name: Rory Gilmore
Show: Gilmore Girls
Admirable Trait: Spunk
Of course a list about book-loving characters is going to feature Rory Gilmore! Rory always manages to make time for books – even between studying, participating in local small town events, girl talk with mom, and dating total hunks. She reads everything. Classic novels, modern sensations, newspapers, magazines, take-out menus. Rory is (fictitious) proof that everyone has time for books. And yes, they do talk quickly on that show.
Check out the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge, and see how many of her 339 favourite books you’ve read.
Movie: Beauty and the Beast
Admirable Trait: Enthusiastic
We all know the story: beautiful young girl becomes trapped in an old enchanted castle… and falls head over heels in love with a gorgeous library. Belle is a kind-hearted, courageous woman who sees true beauty, and knows the value of an honest story. I can’t wait to see how Emma Watson portrays the upcoming live action role.
Name: Suzy Bishop
Movie: Moonrise Kingdom
Admirable Trait: Adventurous
Wes Anderson is a genius, and Suzy Bishop is a dedicated, book-loving gem. Suzy may seem quiet and unassuming, but she has an adventurous soul and a suitcase full of books. Book–lovers are often travel-lovers, and young Suzy Bishop is the perfect example. Although her romantic escape with her young love eventually comes to an end, they enjoy a few adorable days in the woods with a tiny tent and a huge pile of books. That’s my kind of vacation.
Graphic Novel: Sandman by Neil Gaiman
Admirable Trait: Meticulous
Out of all the fictitious librarians out there, Lucien may have the most interesting collection to rule over. He is in charge of Sandman’s library in “The Dreaming”, which contains a copy of every book never written. Books that were merely dreams in the minds of their authors; stories that were never told. Upon losing one book in his vast collection, he is exceedingly diligent about retrieving it from its unwitting new owner. He is extremely trustworthy, and as a result, is Sandman’s unofficial second-in-command. I can’t think of another librarian character who is more dedicated and meticulous about the upkeep of his collection.
Name: The Librarian
Book: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
Admirable Trait: Curious
This may be an obscure reference, but it’s one of my all-time favourite books. There are two unnamed librarian characters in Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, but I love the one from the reality similar to our own. Writing anything about the characters from this book requires some tip-toeing, as no characters are given names, and the narrative alternates between two storylines. End of the World Librarian, as I will call her, is approached by the main character with a reference question about the anatomy of unicorns. What I love about her is the way she goes above and beyond answering his extraordinary question, without ever questioning his motives or sanity. In fact, she’s so dedicated and curious that she joins him on a magical and dangerous 48 hour adventure. She also eats constantly, while remaining miraculously thin, which I think represents her unappeasable appetite for knowledge and adventure.
Of course there are many other amazing book-lovers out there: Hermione Granger, Lisa Simpson, Matilda Wormwood, Tyrion Lannister, Giles from Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and Sawyer from Lost. Who did I miss? Which book loving character do you love the most?