Why We Need More Fictional Bookworms

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Bookworms are very strong, they can carry five books in a bag and not complain once. They are also highly intelligent since they spend all their breathing time with their noses stuck in a book. They are dedicated and passionate, this especially becomes obvious when you ask them about their favorite series. Believe me, they will gush infinitely about it, you won’t be able to stop them once they get started.

My point is that bookworms are perfectly capable to slay dragons and save the world, yet they are rarely represented in fiction.

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            Most of all, I don’t understand why there aren’t more fictional bookworms in the fantasy genre. Imagine trying to deal with all those mythical creatures and legendary curses without researching every book available on the subject. What kind of insanity is this? There’s a reason why Hermione is such an iconic character and that’s because we were able to relate to all her visits to the library, we perfectly understood her passion for books and everything literature-related and especially how frustrated she was whenever a muggle would insult the importance of books.

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            I started becoming passionate about this subject – of needing more fictional bookworms – after I’ve read In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan (you can find my review of the book here). The protagonist Elliot is a huge book-lover, at some point he even voices his disdain for trouble and insists that the only place he can be found is the library, never in the midst of a battle. I relate so much to that quote. It’s my whole life summarized in a phrase. With Elliot’s characterization, Brennan also smashed all the worries that bookworms might be boring protagonists. Elliot is a mediator, his wit helps him make peace in the Other Lands, stop those eternal wars. His true strength resides in his words and his brain and that is truly great and inspirational. Especially since in fantasy books, it seems like nobody ever thinks about diplomacy or reasoning with their enemies. And you know why is that? Because there aren’t enough bookworms there.

Don’t get me wrong, I love reading about risk-seeking characters, those who jump into battles without even thinking first, it’s truly exciting. However, I sometimes want to read about those who seek knowledge, those who are content with strategy-making and don’t need a sword to sort their conflicts. Some protagonists that are more similar to me.

            Book-lovers aren’t monotone, their brains are filled with ingenious ideas and ageless stories. They are fast learners and they probably have (at least) basic information on almost everything. They have the potential to be the best protagonists out there. I think authors should stop ignoring that. I want to read more about them especially since it would be so much easier to understand them through our shared passion.

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            I’m looking forward to a time when fictional bookworms are valued and rule over the literary world. We need that and we need it soon.

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Who is your favorite bookworm protagonist?

Would you love to see more book lovers in fiction?

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55 thoughts on “Why We Need More Fictional Bookworms

  1. Arvenig says:

    Lovely post and I totally agree! My favorite fictional bookworms are Hermione and Cath from Fangirl. “Book-lovers aren’t monotone, their brains are filled with ingenious ideas and ageless stories. They are fast learners and they probably have (at least) basic information on almost everything. They have the potential to be the best protagonists out there.” <- THIS IS SO TRUE!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      Thank you so much!! ❤
      I love both Hermione and Cath so much, they are the absolute best!!! ❤
      I'm glad you liked that, this was a very important topic for me as I just adore finding these book-lovers in the spotlight.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pamela Nicole says:

    Love this! I actually feel like there are plenty of bookworm characters in YA, but most of the time the trait gets lost in the midst of all the epicness. It’s a bit confusing at times because I’m an introvert bookworm so even though I can relate with the bookworm part, sometimes characters are way more sarcastic and outspoken that I’d ever be. Or sometimes their love for books is just mentioned at the beginning and then it’s never heard of.

    That’s why I agree that we need more books that showcase characters’ love for books more prominently! Like with Lazlo, of course! That boy LIVES in a library. It doesn’t get more bookish than that XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      Ahhh, yes, there are obviously many protagonists that are somewhat bookish, but I feel like that only gets mentioned twice, but we don’t see a lot of that. I relate to that as I’m quite sarcastic, but mostly in my head or online or with the people that I’m very comfortable with, hahaha!
      I still haven’t read Strange The Dreamer, but it sounds amazing and the fact that Lazlo is sooo bookish makes me even more interested.

      Like

  3. Sahi says:

    This post is everything Marta… any book I read, if the character even moderately likes books, I end up loving the book… imagine having a bookworm as a fantasy main character… that’s like a dream come true…
    In other worlds has been on my TBR for sometime now but you have convinced me to read it soon 😊😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      Thank you so much! ❤
      I know the feeling, I’m the same, I just want to read more books with them 😍
      YOU REALLY NEED TO READ IT!!! It’s wonderful and I’d totally recommend it to anyone who loves bookworms, you’ll relate so much to Elliot.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. David Boone (moonhawk81) says:

    I agree wholeheartedly! Fortunately for me, these bookworms seem a bit better represented in anime–Lelei La Lalena from GATE springs to mind immediately. Additionally, we are treated to entire anime series about bookworms: Library Wars; Marchen Madchen; and The Book of Bantorra only begin the list. Interestingly enough, each of these also involves combat by the portrayed bookworms in defense of books. . .oh, and most such series actually have written source material, whether light novels or manga. (I guess such protagonists resonate better in Japan?) Finally, I offer you an anime short with Singapore’s Old Main Library as protagonist, Little Red Bricks: [https://vimeo.com/197081537]. Please enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      Ohh, I’ve never watched anime besides Naruto, but I’ve always been interested about them without having any idea where to start. I might really check your list of recommendations since they sound amazing especially with how they portray bookworms.
      Thank you very much for the recommendations and I’m glad you found ways to resonate with bookish characters! 🙂

      Like

  5. Marie says:

    This is such an interesting discussion and I have to agree 100% about everything you’ve mentioned here. I think we need more bookworms and to read about them, and for their passion for books not to be something quickly mentioned, but to actively be something in the storyline, too. Because us bookworms can also be superheroes and seeing this book love shining in a story would be so, so wonderful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      Thank you so much, Marie! ❤
      Yes, that's exactly the issue here, before reading In Other Lands, I've never read about a bookworm whose hobby got past the mentioning part. It was just mentioned and brushed past without us seeing the character doing anything bookish. And that's very sad.
      I really hope we'll see more books with fictional bookworms that are as obsessed as us ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Kate (Reading Through Infinity) says:

    I love this post Marta! I think you’re definitely right that often bookish characters end up thrown into the middle of the action, so we don’t actually get to see much of their book-loving sides. Now that I think about it, it’s often the case that see characters start off a series with their head in a book, but then they have to become the hero and a lot of that gets lost amongst the action. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      Thank you so much, Kate! ❤
      Yeah, I really wish to see more bookworms keeping their amazing bookish personalities even if they get caught up in battles and everything. I really hope that we'll get to see fictional bookworms use their favorite hobby more even on the battlefield as mediators/diplomats and so on.

      Like

  7. mollymarcelle says:

    This was such an interesting post, I’ve never thought about this before! As a kid I always loved characters who were into books, especially when everyone I knew thought reading was lame or boring, Belle was like my idol because I felt like I could relate to her so much! You’re definitely right about how bookworms aren’t boring, we deffo need some exciting badass bookish characters

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      Thank you very much!
      Same here! That is so relatable, everyone thought reading was so lame and I just couldn’t identify with that narrative, hahahaha! Sometimes it still happens, to be honest. I always hear people say that reading is meh :-/
      Belle is iconic ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. auroralibrialis says:

    This is such a wonderful post, I love it! 💕 I love reading books with protagonists who are readers, but I definitley find it less often in fantasy and that’s a shame. One of my favorite bookworm characters is definitley Lazlo Strange, he’s such a soft book-loving daydreamer and I adore him. I also just read Words in Deep Blue and even though it’s not fantasy it’s one of the best bookish books I’ve read. Most of the book even takes place in a bookstore!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      Thank you so much, Aurora! ❤
      I agree with you, it's so rare in fantasy, especially if we're looking for something more than a simple mention. I really have to check Strange The Dreamer and Words in Deep Blue, they are both on my TBR. I'm sure I'll love them since they are so bookish.

      Like

  9. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    I’d love to see more bookworm protagonists, and just bookworm characters in books. The first book I read with a character that loved books as much as I did was Harry Potter, and even today Hermione is still one of my all-time favourite characters. 🙂 There’s something almost comforting about seeing yourself in the characters you read about, it’s why representation is important but even for lighter topics like other book-lovers it’s still important.
    Now my favourite books are those that have fandom characters, like Fangirl, Queens of Geek and Geekerella. Cath and Taylor from the first two are two characters I really strongly related too, not just because of their anxiety but because of their love of the fandom and reading.
    Great post Marta. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      I absolutely adore Hermione as well, even though I haven’t read the books when I was a child, but much later on. She was still super important to me with her bookish personality and activism ❤
      Cath is also very great, I loved the fanfiction bits sooo much, I still haven't read Queens of Geek or Geekerella, but I'm very interested in reading them. I will always love seeing bookworms represented in books ❤
      Thank you very much, Beth! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Lois says:

    This is such an amazing post and I am all for seeing more bookworms in literature. You’re so right in all the potential bookworms have as characters and it would be so refreshing to read about a character that uses their knowledge and words instead of solely relying on brute force.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      Thank you so much, Lois! ❤ I’d totally recommend you read In Other Lands because that book is exactly about it, the protagonist is sooo bookish and never understands why everyone is fighting all the time instead of being a bit more diplomatic. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Charvi says:

    Oh my god yes this topic is so important! And you would think that since most if the author’s are themselves bookworms we would see more representation in books but no 😦

    We bookworms are epic tools that nobody knows how to use -_-

    Liked by 1 person

  12. tasya @ the literary huntress says:

    Yes I love this! I always love reading about brave protagonist, but sometimes they cross to the hot-headed territory and causes so much trouble for everyone involved! xD I love reading about bookworms though, they are smart and dilligent and tend to have other “hidden” qualities that’s really important to the story. Lovely post Marta! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marta says:

      Thank you very much, Tasya! ❤
      Yes, absolutely! They are great to read about, but it can get old pretty fast especially since I can't relate to that hot-headed territory. YES, they have so many hidden qualities.

      Like

  13. utopianpages says:

    OH MY GOD THIS. POST.

    Great points you have there Marta! “Who is your favorite bookworm protagonist?”, your question caught me by surprise. Out of so many books I’ve read, I don’t think there even is one? (aside from Hermione Granger, that is) . I am honestly horrified right now. All I want now is books that have bookworm protagonists!!!

    Have you read Strange the Dreamer? I haven’t, tho I think the protagonist there is a bookworm? I have set aside this book for so long, now it made itself on top of my tbr.

    Like

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