Bookish Heroines Every Reader Aspired To Be

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People pick their role models in all kinds of different ways, but if you're a bibliophile like me, chances are your heroes have something to do with books. I've always loved reading and, ever since I was a little girl, have looked up to the most bookish heroines in literature. Smart, cunning, clever, and full of great reading suggestions, can you blame me for making them my personal heroes?

When it comes to the wonderful world of literature, you can find fictional characters of every age, color, size, gender, occupation, and more, which means you have the chance to come across all different kinds of personalities with the power to speak directly to your soul. As a kid, you might have found comfort in Harriet Welsch's non-conformity in Harriet the Spy or inspiration in Lizzie's unbreakable spirit in Pride and Prejudice. But for me, and for many bookish kids like me, the most relatable and admirable book characters are always the ones who love reading just as much as I do. Their interest in stories, their thirst for knowledge, and their passion to the written word were, and still are, connections I share with them, and qualities I'll always deeply admire.

That's why readers will always be my favorite kinds of characters, and my own personal heroes.

From your favorite classic characters to some of the new voices in YA to the familiar faces of your childhood, here are 13 bookish heroines in literature worthy of all the admiration they get.


Hermione Granger

Perhaps the most famous reader in modern literature, Hermione Granger made books cool the same way Harry Potter made glasses trendy. By her own words, Hermione is all "books and cleverness," but fans know the brilliant witch is so much more than what she reads at the library.


Deza Malone

No matter what hardships Deza and her family faced in The Mighty Miss Malone, the book's 12-year-old never gave up her passion for all-things learning, including reading. She loves books so much, she even dreams of reading everything in her local library. That's a feeling all of us bookworms can relate to.

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Matilda Wormwood

The star of one of the most beloved children's books, Matilda Wormwood is an avid reader who finds her best friends in the library. She may have magic of her own, but she knows that reading is truly the most magical thing of all.


Francie Nolan

A girl after my own heart, Francie Nolan found another world in reading. As her story's narrator explains, "Books became her friends and there was one for every mood." Clearly, that's a bookworm who knows her stuff.

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Liesel Meminger

It doesn't get more bookish than being so obsessed with reading, you find yourself stealing books at every opportunity. Liesel, the official Book Thief, knows what it means to be a serious bookworm.


Cath Avery

The title of Rainbow Rowell's novel says it all: Cath Avery is a serious book fangirl. When she isn't busy reading books or thinking about books, she stays busy writing fan fiction about her favorite books. Talk about obsessed, but I think we can all relate.

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Elizabeth Bennet

Bold and brave and beautifully bookish, Elizabeth Bennet made being a book nerd cool before anyone else. A smart and sharp woman who isn't afraid to get what she wants, Liz reminds all readers that books are the best accessory.


Amanda Hardy

She may be a newer character to the YA canon, but Amanda Hardy can love books as well as the rest of them. The transgender heroine knows that, no matter what else is going on in life, no matter how hard things get, books are always there for you.

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Jo March

Another classic bookish heroine, Jo March inspires little girls to fall in love with reading again and again. Smart and loving, she knows that there are two "Fs" that matter most in the world: fiction and family.


Yolanda García

While her sisters were unforgettable characters in their own rite, Yolanda García will always be remembered for her creativity, passion for the arts, and love of words. A writer at heart, Yolanda's commitment to reading and the written word is a beacon of inspiration for readers everywhere.

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Scout Finch

When your father is as great as Atticus Finch, it's no surprise you'd come up to love literature, reading, and all things bookish. Perhaps one of the most famous book worms of all time, Scout proved that you could be a reader and an adventurer all in one.