Bookworms rejoice, we're rounding up our favourite fictional characters who love reading fiction just as much as we do. It doesn't get much more meta than that. 

Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice

Lizzie Bennet reading
Image via BBC

“Miss Eliza Bennet despises cards. She is a great reader, and has no pleasure in anything else”

Jane Austen clearly thought that to be well read was one of the most desirable accomplishments a young lady in Regency England could possess. We could include almost any of her heroines in this list, but Elizabeth Bennet is perhaps her most universally beloved, and the one who most clearly possesses a character defined by her extensive reading.

The second eldest Miss Bennet's extensive reading—particularly of novels—leads her to develop a wit unrivalled by any of her sisters. Even the serious Mary, who is surely her hottest competition in the bookworm stakes, cannot rival her, for Mary's choice reads are of a religious persuasion. Her tomes, imploring modesty and piety, don't cultivate that same observational humour, and love for sheer silliness, that has shaped Elizabeth's character.

It is her preference for reading novels specifically, that has rendered Elizabeth such an unparalleled wit. 

 

Poussey Washington and Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson, Orange is the New Black

reading
Image via HBO

Thanks to their jobs in the prison library, Poussey and Taystee have enviable access to Litchfield's best reading material. 

When a bed bug infestation means that the library's precious cargo must be burned, the pair hold an emotional funeral for the books, including this speech from Poussey:

 

Rory Gilmore, Gilmore Girls

Rory books
Rory is played by Alexis Bedel

“I take a book with me everywhere. It’s just habit”

It's hard to imagine a character who suits the term "bookworm" more than Rory Gilmore. In the course of the original seven series of Gilmore Girls, she mentions over 250 books. From fiction, to poetry, to criticism and journalism: you name it, she's read it.

With the show getting a new lease of life thanks to a Netflix revival, who knows how many more books she'll add to that list. 

Rory's graduation speech in the final episode paid homage to the many lives she'd lived with her fictional friends as well as the debt she owed to the characters she knew in her real life. Tear jerking stuff:

Honourable mention is due here to Rory's sometime love interest Jess, who proved to be her ultimate book loving match, stealing her books to write her notes in the margins and calling her out as a "book-tease" when she refused to lend him stories she hadn't yet finished. 

Gilmore Girls

You can take a challenge to see how many of Rory's 250+ reading list you've completed here

 

Hermione Granger, Harry Potter


Hermione is played by Noma Dumezweni in The Cursed Child. Image via Bustle

“That’s what Hermione does. When in doubt, go to the library.”

J.K Rowling's Hermione Granger taught a generation of book-loving girls that it was okay to be nerdy.

Where would Ron and Harry be without Hermione's brains? If she hadn't dedicated every waking minute to hitting the library, the trio would have fallen prey to Lord Voldemort quicker than you can say "Devil's Snare". 

devil's snare

Our favourite Hermione bookworm moment? When she singlehandedly solved the riddle of who—or what—was petrifying the students of Hogwarts in The Chamber of Secrets, using only her late night library sessions and a handheld mirror. 

 

Lisa Simpson, The Simpsons

The Bell Jar
Images via Fox

“I think books have an amazing power to bring us together”

How or why Lisa Simpson developed her love for literature growing up with Homer Simpson for a father, we may never know. But love literature she does.

Whether she's educating herself on Second Wave feminism or studying up on science, Lisa will read any and everything she can get her hands on, even when it threatens to alienate her from her family and peers. 

Simpsons lisa simpson bookworm

So extensive is Lisa's library, there's a whole blog dedicated to capturing her most memorable bookworm moments. 

 

Rupert Giles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Giles Buffy

“These musty old books have more to say than any of your fabulous web pages”

Where would Buffy be without the wisdom of Rupert Giles (Anthony Head)? School librarian by day and Watcher by night, he meticulously guards and prepares Buffy for her role as vampire Slayer, acting as a surrogate father figure as well as her mentor. 

It's Giles's library that becomes the HQ for Buffy and her friends, and she relies heavily on his gift of the Slayer Handbook (Vampyr) to defeat her enemies, proving once and for all that knowledge is power.

 

Bernard Black, Black Books

bernard black
Bernard Black is played by Dylan Moran. Image via BBC

“Forget your beaches and jungles; we're going somewhere where I can read, sit and have a quiet drink.”

The proprietor of the Black Books store in Bloomsbury, Bernard Black is a depressed alcoholic, whose hilarious rudeness and apparent disregard for his own customers, entertained us through three all-too-short series of Channel 4's Black Books. His love for reading provides a much-needed respite from his daily misery.

Speaking about creating the show, writer and comedian Dylan Moran said, "Running a second-hand bookshop is a guaranteed commercial failure. It's a whole philosophy. There were bookshops that I frequented and I was always struck by the loneliness and doggedness of these men who piloted this death ship."

 

Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones

Tyrion reading
Played by Peter Dinklage in the HBO adaptation of George R. R. Martin's novels. Image via HBO

“My mind is my weapon… and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”

In a series overrun with sword-wielding knights, murderous kings, scheming queens and nefarious noblemen, the fan favourite character might come as something of a surprise: the bookish dwarf, Tyrion Lannister. 

The younger son of the royal house of Lannister, Tyrion was a disappointment to his tyrannical father Tywin and responded to his inability to fight at the level of his idolised older brother Jamie by retreating to the library and building the muscle of his mind instead. 

Tyrion's wit and intelligence see him overcome the prejudice he faces in almost ever society he enters and leads him to become a valuable and wise advisor to many noble leaders. 

Read more: A blagger's guide to Game of Thrones

 

Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre
Image via BBC

"A breakfast-room adjoined the drawing-room, I slipped in there. It contained a bookcase: I soon possessed myself of a volume"

When we first meet Charlotte Bronte's eponymous heroine, Jane Eyre, she is hiding from her bullish cousins in the library room, finding protection and comfort in a book as the rain pours down outside. 

Jane has a fantastical imagination, spurred on by her reading, and it is this that sustains her through early years of misery and deprivation. Where Jane's real life is deprived of love and comforts, she finds solace in literature—often The Bible—but also in fairytales, such as the story of Bluebeard's Castle, which is rich with references that will eventually ring true for her own situation, as the governess of a house with a sinister secret. 

Read more: Why does the world still care about Jane Eyre?

 

Read more from Anna Walker

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