There's something special about reading a book and seeing yourself in one of the characters for the first time. For me, it was characters like Ramona and Anne Shirley...the ones who felt perfectly melodramatic about everything in their life, even if they didn't have cause to.
Often our favorite books and characters are the ones most like us. Why else would Holden Caulfield be so popular with teens? And if you're reading this blog post, chances are that character was a bookworm.
There's nothing more perfect than finding a fictional best friend who loves to read just as much as you do. You cheered when Rory Gilmore talked about the smell of a book...
...and when Belle sang about reading a book about "lovers in fair Verona" in the opening song...(hint hint: Romeo and Juliet)
But, of course, some of the best examples come from books themselves. Without further ado, I'll introduce you to (or help you re-visit) eight literary bookworms who are sure to quickly become your new fictional best friends.
Jo March from Little Women
No list of characters would ever be complete without Jo March. Jo's never afraid to be completely herself, whether that's playing rowdy games with boys, fighting with her sisters, and going after what she wants. She feels everything strongly and lets her feelings be known.
Best of all, she's fiercely committed to literature: reading voraciously and scribbling away at odd hours of the night. Even if you've never picked up a copy of Little Women (and I recommend you do), who could forget all of Jo's writing scenes in the movie?
Hermione from Harry Potter
Oh, Hermione. Who could forget her sass, spunk, and huge hair? She also was practically a permanent resident of the library. She seemed to have read every book anyone could name. Never afraid to show that being smart was cool and raising your hand in class was necessary, Hermione definitely deserves a coveted spot on this list.
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Alex From The Land of Stories
Alex Bailey is the epitome of the bookworm. She basically lived out our dreams when she accidentally fell into a fairy-tale world, but even in real life, she was a book-lover's hero. Escaping into stories whenever her life got too hard, Alex was all of us discovering the magic of a good read. Whether she was battling evil or sitting in her school library, Alex is completely lovable.
Liesel Meminger from The Book Thief
Unlike the other characters on this list, Liesel Meminger didn't read every book in the library...because there wasn't a library. Living in a foster home in Nazi Germany in the heat of World War 2, Liesel discovered her first book at a funeral. From that moment forward, she got her hands on stories whenever she could: through cigarettes, stealing, and other acts you'll have to read the book to discover.
She was brave, curious, and thoroughly appreciate of a good book. The Book Thief will engross you, but Liesel Meminger will capture your heart and make you wonder how far you'd go for a good book.
Read this next: Janae Marks talks about From the Desk of Zoe Washington, a powerful story for middle grade readers about cupcakes and African-Americans behind bars.
Emma from The Mother-Daughter Book Club
The Mother-Daughter Book Club (one of my favorite book series) stars its very own bookworm: Emma Jane Hawthorne. I'm pretty sure she was destined to become one of our favorite book-lovers; her librarian mother even named her because of Jane Austen novels.
Emma might have been shy, but she turned to books and writing for an outlet. Sometimes it worked and other times her most secretive poems were read aloud to the class...but through thick and thin, Emma stayed loyal to a good read. With Emma's literary references and times spent with a good book, this is the perfect novel to read on a cozy afternoon.
Zoe from The Bookshop on the Shore
At the beginning of the book, single mom Zoe has pretty much hit her limit. Actually, she hit her limit a long time ago. That's the whole reason she moves to a tiny town to nanny an unruly family and run a bookshop anyway.
Whenever Zoe feels like she can't handle it anymore, she turns to books. She says in The Bookshop on the Shore: “It’s also a story too about how if you love books, well, then I always think you have a layer of protection against the world, which sounds strange, but that is what I truly believe.”
With her funny commentary, deep love for reading, and quotes like these, it's no wonder why we fall in love with this quirky heroine.
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Jane from Jane Eyre
Jane had plenty to run away from: malicious aunts, Lowood, and not to mention what she discovers later in the book. But when she couldn't escape, she turned to books.
Jane was a lover of a good story and knew an interesting one when she saw it (hint: it probably had fairies in it). Even when she wasn't allowed to read, she always found a way to get her hands on a book or make a tale up herself. I think we all clapped when Mr. Rochester offered her access to his library.
Am I saying that books are probably a big reason they got together? Maybe...
Emily from Emily of New Moon
From the author of Anne of Green Gables, Emily Starr is an underrated heroine with a spark of her own. She spends her early childhood with her father, reading books by the dozen, writing her first stories, and playing outside. When her father dies, she's sent to live with her strict aunt, who disapproves of writing and especially fiction, which she calls immoral.
Still, Emily seeks refuge in books and sets her sights on becoming a great writer, staying up in the middle of the night to write until her candle burns out. Whether you're an author or not, Emily's love for stories and bright imagination will capture your heart.
Which of these bookworms is your favorite? Is there one I should have added to this list? Let me know in the comments. Ciao, Zoe.
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