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.
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.
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.
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.
Who is your favorite bookworm protagonist?
Would you love to see more book lovers in fiction?