Fictional characters who love to read for pleasure

My favorite movie in the theater right now is Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom (link is to trailer). I’ve seen it twice and could see it again in a heartbeat. It’s a sweet, lovely, quirky, magical comedy set in the 1960’s about 2 misfit pre-teens who fall in love and run away together, and the efforts to find them and keep them apart. There are several dozen things I love about it, and one of them is that the kids in the movie love to read (and be read to). The girl in the story brings with her a record player (including a vinyl record of this song from the trailer), a cat in a basket and a suitcase. You’d think that the suitcase is full of clothes, but no, it’s full of books she can’t live without. Ok, she isn’t very practical, but I could really relate. This girl loves books, good music, cats, and a smart nerd. She’s one of my favorite movie characters EVER!

What other characters do you love because they love to read for pleasure?

Bastian Balthasar Bux from the Neverending Story.

Belle from Beauty and the Beast (Disney)

Hermione Granger

Henry Bemis from the Twilight Zone. (you tube clip)

Peter Wimsey, Harriet Vane, most main characters from Golden Age British mysteries. They cap each other’s quotations from poetry and great literature. Gervase Fen teaches it. P.D. James’ Adam Dagliesh writes and publishes poetry. Present day fictional character Ethelred writes detective novels, and antagonistic sidekick Elsie is his agent. (Really, if you love classic mysteries and haven’t read The Herring-Seller’s Apprentice and follow-up Ten Little Herrings, by L.C.Tyler, you must.)

A lot of Anita Brookner’s protagonists, I think - her fictional career begins with a character whose life was “ruined by literature,” and one of the more memorable passages of Incidents in the Rue Laugier involves a woman reading and rereading Proust as an escape from her dreary life.

Bilbo Baggins loved to read and write.

Most of Jane Austen’s characters have their noses in a book at one time or another, Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice first and foremost.

In William Safire’s 1978 political novel Full Disclosure, there’s a seasoned old White House staffer who always takes a book or two along when he’s traveling on Air Force One. While other, younger, more anxious aides were scurrying back and forth with policy memos and briefing books, he was reading a novel. It was a nice shorthand way to show the guy was confident of his place on the President’s staff, and cool to boot.

John Irving’s Helen Holmes Garp. She even says “I’m not a writer, I’m a reader.” Garp gives her all the books sent to him for reviews because “at least Helen reads them.” In the evenings, Helen reads and Garp watches TV.

Kinsey Milhone (Sue Grafton series) reads a lot. They’re one of my favorite series of books.

As has been pointed out on this Board, both of Calvin’s parents (of Calvin and Hobbes) are shown to be avid readers.

Doc Stoeger in Fredric Brown’s Night of the Jabberwock is such a reader that he brags about having a bookshelf in every room in his house, including the bathroom. He’s my hero.

Of course, if he hadn’t been such a reader, he wouldn’t have known about the Jabberwock, and wouldn’t have gotten sucked into a murder mystery.

Large numbers of books depressed Scarlett O’Hara, as did people who liked to read large numbers of books…all except Ashley Wilkes.

Rory Gilmore from The Gilmore Girls…my favourite TV character ever.

From the Robert B. Parker novels, both Spenser and Hawk read for pleasure. Hawk did not have the habit in the television series, but Robert Urich’s Spenser clearly did; he was even more of a quoter than his literary progenitor.

Someone’s already mentioned Rory Gilmore, but Alexis Bledel is already on my mind so I’m going to do it again. :wink:

Angel was shown reading a lot in the first season and a half of his show, but I’m not sure whether that was for pleasure or just as a way of immersing himself in his mission and avoiding human contact; certainly the more comfortable he grew around Cordelia et al, the less he was seen with his nose hidden in a book. But certainly Willow Rosenberg was a read-for-pleasure girl, and I think it’s implied that Fred Burkle (damn your eyes, Joss!) was as well. Early during her tenure in the series, when she was clearly enamoured with Angel, she is dreamily imagining what he is doing while apart from the rest of the team and she’s sure he is reading some ancient, difficult-to-understand tome. For that matter, I imagine Wesley & Giles were read-for-pleasure fellows as well.

James Qwilleran is always reading to his cats KoKo and YumYum. Bernie Rhodenbarr owns a bookstore and reads his own stock.

Detective Nero Wolfe would much rather sit down with a good book (especially Jane Austen’s Emma) than solve cases, which is one reason Archie Goodwin always has to nag him to get to work.

Yomiko Readman of the anime Read or Die.

To give you an idea, here’s the scene where she’s first introduced. She’s in the bed.

Reading isn’t really for pleasure for her—in that “pleasure” implies a diversion, or a hobby. It’s more like enjoying breathing.

Plus, it gives her papyrokinetic superpowers.

Jo March

Ellery Queen

I don’t think Lois McMaster Bujold ever made it a plot point, but it’s been mentioned several times that Miles Vorkosigan is an avid reader.

Bufkin in Bill Willingham’s Fables comic book series.