Fictional Book-Lovers Who Remind Us Of Ourselves

by Amy Sachs

If there's one thing most readers can agree on, it's that there's nothing quite like seeing yourself reflected back in a fictional character. You know that quote, "We read to know we are not alone?" It sticks because it's true. You feel less strange knowing that someone else is having the same thoughts running through your head. Suddenly, you feel more understood. There are those same ideas, in someone else's words, right there on a page!

We can always find stories about the popular girls, the sporty girls, and the awkward, misunderstood girls. But tales about the book-lovers like us are slightly more rare. We are the ones who grew up wanting the Belle's library, complete with the rolling ladder (forget the Beast... we'll just take the books). Then, when we got a bit older, we had Rory Gilmore, who was, and continues to be the loudest and proudest TV bookworm possibly ever. I mean, there are reading challenges in her honor!

Rory and Belle weren't the only ones, though, if you think about it. In the pages of our favorite books, in movies, and on TV, characters loved literature as much as we do now, and we adored reading and seeing their passion for literature play out. Do you remember falling head over heels for these 12 characters, too?

Hermione Granger from Harry Potter

Another well-loved bookworm, Hermione always knew the power that books held. She shrank them down to fit in her tiny clutch, she was always in the library, and all of her reading is probably how she knew that it was "Levi-OH-sa" and definitely not "Levi-oh-SA." Plus, if you're on a quest for Voldemort's horcruxes and still find time to read, you probably deserve a spot in the Reader's Hall of Fame. If that was a thing.

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Daria Morgendorffer from Daria

Daria was always telling it like it is, making her a '90s favorite who has long outlived her namesake television show. Daria's preference for reading over going out is one I know well, and for that she will hold a place in the hearts of book-lovers everywhere.

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Matilda Wormwood from Matilda

Matilda: beloved book character turned adorable movie presence. Anyone who claims not to have a soft spot for Matilda has A) never seen or read it or b) is a terrible liar. Her wagon full of books that helped her escape from all the bad things around her was an inspiration to children of all ages.

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Kathleen Kelly from You've Got Mail

Arguably one of the best movies possibly ever, You've Got Mail never fails to make you want to open a small independent book store of your own — despite the entire premise of the movie. Maybe that's just me? Storybook Princess, bookseller, Pride and Prejudice fangirl, Kathleen Kelly is at the top of the list of best fictional book-lovers.

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Francie Nolan from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Francie Nolan sitting on her fire escape with her books is a classic moment from a classic coming of age novel. As she puts it, "the world was hers for the reading." For better or worse, she could always escape into a book, no matter what was happening in the real world around her.

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Jess Mariano from Gilmore Girls

Rory gets all the credit, but her book-loving, bad boy boyfriend Jess was just as big a bookworm as Rory herself. He wrote in the margins of her books, he took them without asking... I mean, I don't know whether to love him or hate him!

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Liesel Merminger from The Book Thief

The name of the book says it all. Liesel loved books so much that, during World War II when nothing was readily available, she was caught stealing them (just for a while) from a wealthy acquaintance. Liesel loved everything about words and reading, and she's the perfect reminder of all the power they can hold.

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Lisa Simpson from The Simpsons

Endlessly passionate about education, books, and feminism, Lisa is often the best part of The Simpsons. Precocious and hilarious, Lisa is one of the best animated bookworms since Belle herself!

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Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice

An all around inspiration, does it surprise anyone that Elizabeth loves books and reading as much as we do? Probably not. From the stunning opening of the movie adaptation to when she confronts Mr. Darcy for good, Elizabeth Bennet is a classic book-lover for the ages.

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Scout and Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird

These two come as a package deal. Atticus inspires a love of reading (among countless other things) in his daughter from a young age. The scene of the two reading together on the front porch is iconic. Who knows, maybe Scout will be teaching her own daughter how to read when Go Set a Watchman is finally released!

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Suzy Bishop from Moonrise Kingdom

Suzy Bishop is quirky in a way only Wes Anderson characters can be. But, like some other unique characters, she shares a love of reading we can all relate to. Suzy is likely to be the friend you go to for really obscure book recommendations, but ones you're sure to end up loving.

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James "Sawyer" Ford from Lost

I just have one thing to say about the island's favorite bookworm: he saved all of the books that would have otherwise been, well, lost . He makes good use of them throughout the show... and it doesn't hurt to mention how good he looks while he does it.

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Lucas Scott from One Tree Hill

The show opened and closed with quotes from whatever book Lucas happened to be reading at the time. They were always spot on, and the show wouldn't have been the same without the brooding, nose-stuck-in-a-book Lucas Scott to enlighten us.

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Donna Meagle from Parks and Recreation

Donna was always willing to discuss her favorite parts of books with whoever asked. When Kelly, the Twilight-obsessed father comes to the Parks Department, Donna is the first to talk vampires with him. Sassy, snarky, and into books? Can I be friends with Donna, please?

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Image: Warner Bros. Television; Giphy (13)

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