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Book Worm
Yomiko Readman picks up some light reading.

"When I have money, I buy books, and if there is any left over, I buy food and clothing."
Erasmus

A character who just loves to read books. Can be smart or just of average intelligence, may or may not wear glasses, and possibly have few interests other than reading. Expect them to put off doing stuff with friends in order to read sometimes, or for them to have few friends because they make a point to ignore or avoid others for the purpose of sitting down in a secluded area and indulging in their hobby of reading.

Possesses the Charles Atlas Superpower of being able to not only read and walk at the same time but to read and navigate through a maze of disaster and mayhem (car wrecks, floods, runaway rabid dogs, the debris of a Chase Scene such as a flying Fruit Cart, falling meteors) without a scratch. The character will also likely posses Encyclopaedic Knowledge thanks to reading anything and everything.

This is often very Truth in Television. You yourself probably knew at least one. (Or are one.) Technology is marching on, with smartphones and tablets being used more and more for distribution, reading and libraries and bookstores becoming rarer entities, we will see if in the future these people use physical paper books in Real Life.

Supertrope of Cute Bookworm, Badass Bookworm, and Hot Librarian. Examples that fall under one of the Sub Tropes should be added to the appropriate page, not this one. Frequently espouse a Reading Is Cool attitude.

Often the victim of a Useful Book gag but, sadly, not of a Portal Book plot.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

     Anime And Manga  
  • Sheska from Fullmetal Alchemist is this to insane levels. Not only does she fit all the standard requirements for being a Bookworm, she also seems to like reading for the sake of reading. Including cookbooks. More importantly, she can even recall books perfectly, such that when she made a copy (From memory) of said cookbook for Ed, he was still able to decode the secret message in it.
  • Vio, Link's "smart side" from the Legend of Zelda: Four Swords+ manga. Also something of a Badass Bookworm because he's strong and skilled enough to beat the "original" green Link in a sparring match.
  • Vivio Takamachi of Lyrical Nanoha, which is the reason why she became a title librarian of the Infinity Library even though she's still in grade school.
  • Nodoka of Mahou Sensei Negima!, to the point that she has the nickname "Honya", (Japanese for "bookshop"). And indeed, she works in a library and can often be seen carrying enormous stacks of books around.
    • Also Yue. Funnily enough, while she loves reading, she hates studying, or at least, studying that doesn't involve magic.
  • Yomiko Readman of Read or Die provides the page image. She has a drug-like addiction to reading, and her apartment is literally packed wall-to-wall (and floor) with books. Give her a book and she'll be lost in her own little world. There's a famous moment in the OVA where she's so engrossed in a book that she ignores an explosion feet from her.
    • And (two of) the three Paper Sisters from the (same universe, but not a sequel) Read Or Dream series are the same way. If all three were, their knee-jerk response to the commonly presented choice of "buy books or buy food" might be less comedic...
  • Yuki Nagato from Suzumiya Haruhi seems addicted to books. In the light novels, Kyon wonders what would happen if she wasn't allowed to read.
    • The books may actually be a way to make her less noticeable or give an excuse for her utter lack of apparent emotion - she was originally created to be a wallflower who would observe Haruhi's actions from afar, but accidentally wound up being a close friend of hers. Yuki literally sat in her apartment doing nothing with her life, waiting to go to the same school as Haruhi until high school, so presumably she can patiently wait for years doing nothing.
    • In the anime of Remote Island Syndrome, Yuki demonstrates her Charles Atlas Superpower by reading while waterskiing.
  • Ami Mizuno from Sailor Moon fits this trope very well. She often spends time reading books and she is also extremely intelligent.
  • Both Takano Masamune and Onodera Ritsu of Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi used to read books in the library to pass the time as school children and grow up to be editors.
  • England from Axis Powers Hetalia has literature listed as one of his hobbies. According to Hetaween 2011, Sherlock Holmes is his favorite.
  • Yukino Yukinoshita from Oregairu is usually reading in the club room if left to her own devices.
  • Joshua Christopher from Chrono Crusade is one, particularly as a kid.
  • Lucy in Servant × Service. Her mother warned her about neglecting daily life in favor of books, and a conversation with Saya revealed that she pursued a 2-year college term so she can immediately find work and earn money to buy more books. Personality-wise she sits somewhere between Cute Bookworm and Hot Librarian; she's already a young adult (20), looks like a Hot Librarian and is hardly a Shrinking Violet, but she is very naive, especially on sexual matters.
  • Kawai Ritsu of Bokura Wa Minna Kawaisou spends almost all her free time reading, ignoring things like classmates, traffic signals, and flashers.
  • No Game No Life: This is the Flugel's hat. They don't care about gambling for territory or resources, and only puruse books. It's possible to make them drool and bet their freedom if tempted with sufficient quanities of books.

     Comics 
  • The UK comic Whizzer and Chips featured a character called Bookworm, who had various adventures based on solving problems with books, trying to get peace to read, or taking what he read too seriously.

     Film — Animated  
  • Belle from Disney's Beauty and the Beast is introduced returning a book and then immediately burrowing another. She'd read that one twice already.
  • Rapunzel, from Tangled and at a pace of up to 6 books daily. The audience might think that this pace comes from the fact that she only owns three books, at least until they see that shot where she's turned loose in a library...
  • Mariposa and Prince Carlos from Barbie Mariposa like reading.

     Film — Live Action  
  • In Brotherhood of the Wolf, Marquis d'Apcher (his first name is Thomas) is a self-proclaimed book worm (but he also likes to read other things than books, magazines about theatre scene in Paris, for example).
  • Umberto in Another Time, Another Place.
  • Karol Wjotyla in PopeJohnPaulII, who reads poetry during his breaks working in a rock quarry.

     Literature  
  • The titular character of Arthur was a Book Worm to a tee (He even wears glasses!), but pretty much all of the kids loved to read.
  • Sophie from Child of the Hive spends a good portion of her time reading and, when not reading, tends to compare herself to characters from literature.
  • Hermione Granger from Harry Potter considers a book heavier than her skull to be " a bit of light reading".
  • Jo of Little Women
  • Roald Dahl's Matilda loves to read books, much to the horror of her horrible parents.
  • Catherine Morland of Northanger Abbey. She enjoys especially Gothic novels, which is a current craze in literature. Her love interest Henry Tilney is an avid reader as well.
  • Pride and Prejudice:
    • Mr. Bennet loves books and reading and the library in his house is his sanctuary.
    • Elizabeth Bennet is a great reader. She said they were encouraged to read from childhood.
    • Mary Bennet reads a lot and is known to make notes very diligently. However, she's an example of the less intelligent Bookworm.
    • Mr Darcy is a Bookworm and very serious about books. He insists that a proper and accomplished lady must have a mind improved by extensive reading, and surely he would not allow a gentleman to be less educated. He also takes an exemplary care of their family library which is a work of several generations.
  • The Dashwood ladies in Sense and Sensibility are the most studious family in Jane Austen's 'verse. Especially Mrs Dashwood, Elinor and Marianne are great readers, and young Margaret is forced to study more. Marianne has a great passion and special love for poetry. Edward Ferrars even jokes that she would love to buy all the books — and he means all the copies — because they might fall into unworthy hands.
  • Persuasion:
    • Captain Benwick is a clever and reading man, as Captain Wentworth says. He has a nice collection of pretty volumes, and he enjoys talking to Anne about books. He's particularly fond of poems.
    • Lady Russell is obsessed with literature and new books. She sends books worthy to be read to her friends who do not always appreciate her enthusiasm. Charles Musgrove thinks Lady Russell and Captain Benwick might bond over their mutual passion.
  • Klaus in A Series of Unfortunate Events loves to read. Not just to read, but to research, which often comes in handy because his Encyclopaedic Knowledge, combined with Violet's ability to improvise inventions and Sunny's teeth, allows them to escape from Count Olaf's clutches.
  • Mallory in The Baby-Sitters Club.
  • The Bookworms in The War Between the Pitiful Teachers and the Splendid Kids (and the sequel, Skinny Malinky Leads the War for Kidness).
  • Peter Pays Tribute has Matt, who is more comfortable with books than he is with people.
  • Nita from Young Wizards. It's apparently very common for wizards.
  • Flavia Gemina of The Roman Mysteries
  • Lori Shepherd from the Aunt Dimity series. She has some expertise in rare books and used to word for an academic expert. She is often drawn to the libraries in houses where she is staying. She is even asked to assess the books in an old house in Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has a number of characters who love to read, including Tyrion, Rodrik the Reader whose exclusive characteristic is reading, and so on. But none are more bookish than Samwell Tarly, whose love of books overshadows even his love of pork. When ordered to do some research, he spends days in the library without leaving, always telling himself, "Just one more book and I'll stop."
  • Tash Arranda of Galaxy of Fear has shades of this... when the books are about Jedi. Most of the stories she finds about them are found on the Holonet, or Star Wars Internet. They're not paper books, such artifacts being obsolete and almost unheard of, but she mentions that she'd read half the library back home.
  • Martha Abbott in Zilpha Keatley Snyder's The Changeling is a shy, unattractive "mouse" and a definite bookworm, probably learning to read many years before starting school.
  • Jo Walton's Among Others is a book about books. Narrator Morganna/ Morwenna Phelps is obsessed with books, especially fantasy and science fiction. They are her lifeline after the horrific tragedy that killed her twin and left her crippled for life.
  • Alex Aruda who appears in two of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. This kid is such a bookworm that he borrowed the teacher's personal dictionary to study for an upcoming spelling bee, in which the teacher furious that her book was "Stolen" had given all the kids detention until it is returned. The kids desperate for help went to Alex who not only admitted had the book but was so focused on reading it that he never even noticed what had been going on the whole time (Note: This lasted for about three days)
  • The The Mysterious Benedict Society series has Reynie, Sticky and Mr. Benedict. Reynie is just as much a voracious reader as the other two, but doesn't possess their eidetic memory, and thus, while being a reasonably fast and studious reader, can't process books nearly as fast as the other two, much to his disappointment. As a child, Mr. Benedict loved reading, but had access to few books, and was mostly left to scrounging for newspapers. Simply reading a dictionary was for him a real treat. When he moved to a new orphanage, his delight at discovering it had a massive library was matched only by his bitterness and disappointment that only a very limited amount of free time was allowed each day for reading and that he couldn't get permission to borrow books to take up to his room. He eventually discovered that the library was the treasure of the wife of the former owner of the manor that became the orphanage, and managed to negotiate a deal to be allowed to read as much as he wanted.
  • M. Mabeuf of Les Misérables is described as "not a monarchist, a constitutionalist, an anarchist, but an old-booksist". When he loses his source of income, he sells his books one by one and eventually goes to the barricades and is martyred for the revolution.
  • Jane Eyre: Jane keeps mentioning throughout her narration her love for books and reading. At the beginning of the novel, it was her escape to happier thoughts.
  • The Clerk from Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales fits this trope perfectly, making it (just about) Older Than Print. He is described as being 'thredbare' and 'nat right fat' because he spends all his money 'on bookes and on lernynge.'
  • Played with by Susan Sto Helit in Soul Music who enjoys reading about logic and other sensible things.
    Susan didn't see the point in literature. She'd rather read a good book.
  • A Mage's Power: After arriving in Roalt, Eric spent nine days in the public library. Because of its cafe, he didn't have to leave once in that time.

     Live Action Television 
  • Roddy McDowell as The Bookworm in the 1966 Batman TV series.
  • Rory Gilmore and Jess Mariano in Gilmore Girls. Their initial friendship and eventual relationship is sparked off with a mutual love of literature, thanks to Jess secretly stealing her copy of Ginsburg's "Howl" and then returning it to her with his thoughts in the margins.
  • Before he decided Evil Is Cool, Sylar was shown to have practically covered every space in his apartment with shelves of books. Even his "living space" inside his mental prison was nothing but clocks and books.
  • Brick from The Middle.
  • Stefan from The Vampire Diaries. He is highly scholarly and academic.
  • See The Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough At Last"
  • While it's only touched on every once in awhile, part of the Back Story for Chuck of Pushing Daisies is how she accumulated a huge amount of books (and knowledge) due to her never being able to leave home. In the flashback sequences we see a room which has what looks like thousands of books all stacked on top of each other.
  • Friedhelm Winter from Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter is never without a book. Provided he's not holding a gun, that is.

     Newspaper Comics  

     Theatre  
  • Emily Book in The Sparrow. When asked by her teacher if she likes reading, she replies with, "It only seems fitting..." Emily Book loves to read. In the beginning when she returns to her hometown after 10 years, she has with her a suitcase full of books.

     Video Games  
  • Canas in Fire Emblem Elibe, who is shown reading books that aren't dark magics on the battlefield. He's even surprised when Nino says she doesn't know how to read yet is practicing magic. (And is potentially one of the most powerful spellcasters next to Athos if not THE most powerful if one invests time into developing her.)
  • Any Harvest Moon girl who hangs out at a library will inevitably be one of these.
    • That really just limits it to Mary and Maria, given the small number of actual libraries in the series. Male examples would include Ivan from Grand Bazaar, and Gray from Back to Nature/Friends of Mineral Town/More Friends of Mineral Town. He partly frequents the library because his crush, Mary, works there, but he's displayed a genuine interest in reading, as well as discussing stories with her.
  • Mitsuru Kirijo from Persona 3 is rarely seen without a book in hand when in the common room.
  • An old educational PC game called Word Rescue had a character named Benny Bookworm. Yes, he had glasses. In the sequel, "Math Rescue", he became "Benny Butterfly" (even though caterpillars become butterflies).
  • Estelle from Tales of Vesperia is a Genius Ditz with a lot of knowledge in things that help the others in the party understand just what the heck is going on sometimes. When she isn't being the bookworm, then Rita is, given her background as a genius mage who's been studying blastia since she was 10!
  • Touhou has Patchouli Knowledge, who lives in her own personal Great Big Library of Everything, filled with fire-and-waterproof books many of which she authored herself during her hundred-year-long bout with being a hikkikomori. While the most extreme, she isn't the only bookworm, but being a total Squishy Wizard, Patchouli is most identified with books.
  • A trait in The Sims 3. Sims with it read books faster, have more fun doing so, and often get wishes to read a certain number of books. They also make good writers, especially in the vaudeville genre.
  • In Guild Wars 2, an NPC can be found at the end of a precarious and enemy-riddled jumping puzzle who traversed it with her nose in a book, completely unaware of where she was walking.
  • If the rather packed libraries she has in her house are any indication - and she seems intelligent enough for them to be - Lara Croft of Tomb Raider fame may also apply in her non-adventuring hours. Though it's possible many (if not all) of them just pertain to whatever relic or artifact she may be pursuing at the moment.
  • Princess Garnet of Final Fantasy IX alludes on numerous occasions to being one.
  • The librarians in Suikoden tend to either be this (such as Eike and especially Alhazred), or at least, naturally, encourage such as part of their job. Bolgan from Suikoden II in particular is noted by the game's resident librarian, Emilia, to have developed a real fondness for reading. Given that he's only just learning to, it'll likely grow.

     Visual Novels  
  • In Katawa Shoujo, a few characters like to read. Hisao reads quite often, especially when hospitalized for four months after his heart attack in the prologue. Hanako, a Shrinking Violet who is one of the dateable girls, also greatly enjoys reading. Hanako's best friend, Lilly, who is blind, enjoys reading books in Braille.
  • Battler in Umineko no Naku Koro ni is revealed to be a bookworm in Ep 5 where he states that he "only" reads about 100 books per year. It's revealed in Ep 7 that this was something he shared with Yasu as a child and the time they spent reading and discussing mystery novels resulted in Yasu falling in love with him.

     Webcomic  
  • Drowtales: Ariel is something of an avid reader as a small child but later becomes a Black Magician Girl. Yafein looks the part, but it's not canon whether he loves books.
  • In Sinfest, Crimney. He even hides behind stacks of them. (Which is why Fuschia poses as a Meganekko hoping to attract him.}
  • Yellow from Shinigami Death Punch is absolutely this. He seems more interested in his books than his job, most of the time.
  • Janis Lashway from The Overture spends all her time reading. She even impersonates being a priest in order to gain library privileges.
  • Sukina Lashiec from Heartcore loves her some books. Fittingly, her muse is listed as "books".

    Web Original 
  • The Lizzie Bennet Diaries:
    • Lizzie Bennet frequently mentions that she loves curling herself up with a book and read and read and read.
    • The Bennet sisters' cousin Mary is a toned down Goth girl. She's introduced as great reader, reading a book and trying to ignore Lydia's antics who is recording material for her vlog.
  • The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: Jane Eyre says in her first video that she adores book. She mentions she could perhaps enjoy collecting other things as well, but nothing beats books in her eyes.
    "Mostly, I own books. I try to collect other things but I'm always like this: 'Why am I wasting my money on this when I could be buying a book?' Maybe that's weird."
  • Like her Disney counterpart, Belle of University Ever After always has a book in hand.

     Western Animation  
  • The Simpsons: Lisa Simpson. Her family doesn't understand her passion much. One episode had her uncle Herb paying her a subscription to books from Western canon. Oh, and she had a very passionate conversation about her love of books with her grandma Mona.
  • In an episode of the Czech animated series Staflik And Spagetka, one of the dog protagonists is made into a complete Bookworm by a particularly fascinating book, filling the trope to a T.
  • Raven of Teen Titans. The books she likes to read are probably ancient tomes filled to the brim with powerful magic spells that could make her even more devastating in battle, but she still loses her patience when no one will leave her alone to finish the story of a wizard's battle with a dragon...
  • Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Bonus points for actually living in a library. Probably the most ridiculous case involves her literally having a slumber party by the book.
    • During the episode "Read It and Weep," Rainbow Dash becomes one while recovering from a broken wing, but is ashamed to admit it.
  • In Barbie And The Secret Door, Princess Alexa loves books and would rather read than socialize.
  • The Bookworm in the Looney Tunes "Sniffles" shorts, who is literally a bookworm. In Tiny Toon Adventures, he runs the Looniversity library.

     Real Life  
  • Oprah Winfrey was like this when she was young. She actually taught herself to read when she was two or three. (Something that is uncommon but not unheard of.)
  • Us. After all, Most Tropers Are Young Nerds.
  • David Bowie regularly travelled with at least a trunk full of books in The Seventies and once presented a list of recommendations at his official website, taken from what he'd then-recently read/re-read. The list contained 51 titles!
  • Groucho Marx was an avid reader, something reinforced when he had to drop out of school and do vaudeville full time to support his family. He said he tried to read a new book every day, and that the proudest moment of his career was the Library of Congress choosing one of his books to be preserved for historical significance.
  • Morrissey is a proud Bookworm and often makes reference to English literature. Deconstruced it with references to Intelligence Equals Isolation and Loners Are Freaks from his point of view. Of course Played for Drama, because it's Morrissey.


Aloof Dark-Haired GirlIntroversion TropesBadass Bookworm
Badass BookwormBookish TropesCute Bookworm
BackstoryCharacterization TropesCincinnatus
Read or DieImageSource/Anime & MangaPaper Master

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