Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Book-Loving People in Books


Image Credit: The Broke and the Bookish

Though I am very absent-minded, and often scatterbrained, I do know it's no longer Tuesday.

However, I typed up this post yesterday and was unable to post it due to internet problems.* And I now decree today as honorary Tuesday.

This week's Top 10 Tuesday, the fun meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is Top 10 Favorite Readers/Bookish People etc, in Books. If you'd like to participate and don't know where to start, click here.

Honestly, I found I liked so many bookish characters that my brain was frying when I tried to list them all. So I set myself a challenge: Try to use characters that you have not used in a previous TTT's, and you have to really love them. That helped a lot.

So without further ado: My Top 10 Favorite Bookish People (Readers, Writers, Researchers, etc) from Books (say that three times fast)

1. Henry Tilney** from Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen)


While Catherine Norland is the novel-devouring heroine of this delightful book, and Elizabeth Bennet (and several other Austen heroines) are quite fond of reading, it is Henry who is my favorite Austen bookworm. Out of all her heroes, he always struck me as the most developed and interesting (probably because he reads such a wide variety of literature). And he's witty and a little quirky too, so what's not to like? 
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” 
― Jane AustenNorthanger Abbey
Yes, that famous quote is from Henry, in Chapter 14 ;)

2. Lirael from Lirael (Garth Nix)


Lirael is a magic-less outcast among the Clayr (powerful seers in the Abhorsen world), but her work in the mystical and dangerous Clayr library finally puts her inquiring mind to work. Along with Barbara Gordon (Batgirl), Lirael is one of my favorite fictional librarians. And the Clayr library is awesome (in a scary sort of way).
[Lirael] “I think I would like to work in the Library.” “The Library,” repeated Sanar, looking troubled. “That can be dangerous to a girl of fourteen. Or a woman of forty, for that matter.” “Only in parts,” said Ryelle. “The Old Levels.” “You can’t work in the Library without going into the Old Levels,” said Mirelle somberly. “At least some of the time. I wouldn’t be keen on going to some parts of the Library, myself.” ― Garth NixLirael

3. Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (J. R. R. Tolkien)


Despite the fact that I always wanted to be an elf, Bilbo is the character I am *actually* like. He just wants to be left alone with his books. And then he goes on adventures, and writes books about them. And he lives in a cozy hobbit hole, and has lots of money. On second thought, I think I’d be happy being Bilbo. Regardless, he has the aforementioned bookishness (that word defines Bilbo), and he has a way with words and verses. Honestly, so many Tolkien characters are bookish or scholars or lovers of words. But what else would you expect from a philologist?
“I want to see mountains again, Gandalf, mountains, and then find somewhere where I can rest. In peace and quiet, without a lot of relatives prying around, and a string of confounded visitors hanging on the bell. I might find somewhere where I can finish my book. I have thought of a nice ending for it: and he lived happily ever after to the end of his days.” ― J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring

4. Liesel from The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)


I have a feeling that the titular book thief will end up on a lot of lists today. Her love for words and books leads her to theft (though only of books), and gives her so much more scope and understanding. And if you are a reader and word lover, you probably adore this book. It is gorgeous.
“Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out, like the rain. (p. 85)” ― Markus ZusakThe Book Thief

5. Holling Hoodhood from The Wednesday Wars (Gary Schmidt)


This is one of my all-time favorite middle grade books, and Holling is probably the most unique Shakespeare fan in a novel. Though the Bard is a tough sell for a kid who is into baseball and not much else, Holling is eventually won over by the stories and the characters.
“I love the sound of a brand-new bottle of coke when you pry the lid off and it starts to fizz. Whenever I hear that sound, I think of roses, and of sitting together with someone you care about and of Romeo and Juliet waking up somewhere and saying to each other, weren't we jerks? And then having all that be over. That's what I think of when I hear the sound of a brand-new bottle of Coke being opened” ― Gary D. SchmidtThe Wednesday Wars

6. Butler (Domovoi Butler) from the Artemis Fowl series (Eoin Colfer)


The giant, bald Eurasian bodyguard of genius twelve-year old (and criminal mastermind) Artemis Fowl, Butler is all toughness and expertise. Despite this, he develops a passion for reading while waiting for Artemis in The Lost Colony. His favorites include Gone With the Wind and The Art of War. And he's hilarious, by the way.
"We lost the crickets," she said. "Even you can't make that sound tough."
..."I am Butler," he said with a straight-face. "Everything I say sounds tough. Now, get out of the lake, fairy." — Eoin Colfer (The Last Guardian (Artemis Fowl, #8))

7. Vesper Holly from the Vesper Holly Series (Lloyd Alexander)


Continuing with the blast from the past (most of these are books I read a long time ago!), I give you Vesper Holly, adventurer, scholar, and Imagine a female (and much more sensible) teenage Indiana Jones, crossed with an brilliant linguist and scholar, and you have Vesper Holly. Though Vesper is more of the active type, she reads a lot, and loves words and languages.
“Miss Vesper Holly has the digestive talents of a goat and the mind of a chess master. She is familiar with half a dozen languages and can swear fluently in all of them. She understands the use of a slide rule but prefers doing calculations in her head. She does not hesitate to risk life and limb- mine as well as her own. No doubt she has other qualities as yet undiscovered. I hope not.” ― Lloyd AlexanderThe Illyrian Adventure

8. Margaret Lea from The Thirteenth Tale (Diane Setterfield)


She works in a bookstore, and is an amateur biographer who loves to read. I think that Margaret's devotion to books is something we all understand. (And if you haven't read this haunting book, you should)
“There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.” ― Diane SetterfieldThe Thirteenth Tale

9. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow from The Dante Club (Matthew Pearl)


Yes, I do realize that Longfellow was a real person. However, Matthew Pearl casts him as a bookish sleuth in his excellent historical murder mystery, The Dante Club.
“ 'Till America has learned to love literature not as an amusement, not as a mere doggerel to memorize in a college room, but for its humanizing and ennobling energy, my dear reverend president, she will not have succeeded in that high sense which alone makes a nation out of a people. That which raises it from a dead name to a living power.' ” ― Matthew PearlThe Dante Club

10. Princess Cimorene from The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (Patricia C. Wrede)


This was one of the first fantasy series that I discovered on my own (post Tolkien and Lewis!), and it is both fun and hilarious. I always identified with the bookish Cimorene (a reluctant princess who gets the best job ever: cook and librarian for a dragon!) and envied her adventures.
[to Cimorene] “You're always in the kitchen," Alianora said when she poked her head through the door a moment later. "Or the library. Don't you ever do anything but cook and read?” ― Patricia C. WredeDealing with Dragons

I have too many honorable mentions for this post, so I'm not bothering with it :) After all, most readers like to read about readers!

So, there you have it. Did I include any of your favorites (or have any glaring omissions)? Who is your favorite bookish character, and why?

Footnotes:
*Including no internet, no money for internet, no where to use internet that is close and open really late, and computer crashes. #smalltownproblems
**If there was a list of most interesting would-be clergy who actually act like real people, he would be #1 on that list too. (I would be interested to see if anyone could come up with more than one, honestly)