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Cute Bookworm

A cute and brainy bibliophile, this trope embodies the cute, shy, and vulnerable archetype as applied to a nerdy girl. She wanders around with her head in a book, and is ready to spout out facts at the drop of a hat. There's a tendency for her to be shy, young, quiet and socially awkward. Occasionally this is highlighted by having her wear glasses, or have her bangs in her face to hide her eyes. She'll almost always be more conservatively dressed than most of the cast.

This trope tends to be female, but there are male examples, though they tend to be younger males, especially Adorably Precocious Children, or at least look like it. With regards to occupation, they might be a scientist, a librarian, a schoolgirl, a wizard, or something similar in nature.

May overlap with Badass Bookworm, Lovable Nerd, Intelligence Equals Isolation, and Adorkable. Contrast Hot Librarian for an older, more authoritative version. Subtrope of Bookworm.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
    • A male example with Yuuno Scrya. Head librarian of the Infinity Library but he grew up to be quite the bishie after the Time Skip.
    • We also have Nanoha's daughter, Vivio, who was already a title librarian of the Infinity Library at the age of nine.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima!, Nodoka Miyazaki is extremely bookish, wears her hair over her face and works at the school Library Of Babel. Lord of the Rings is in her top 10 books to have if she is ever stranded on a Deserted Island.
  • Yomiko Readman from Read or Die. Her outright giddiness over books qualifies her, and she spends thousands per week on books.
  • Levy from Fairy Tail, though she's more Genki Girl than shy. Lucy's also a bit of a bookworm.
  • Sheska/Sciezka from Fullmetal Alchemist. Memorized the whole library, wears glasses and cute as a button.
  • The World God Only Knows: Shiori Shiomiya is such a bookworm that Keima begins grading her according to the librarian girl archetype from his beloved dating sims.
  • Yuki Nagato from Suzumiya Haruhi seems built to be a perfect example of this as the only member of the now defunct Literature Club and her head constantly in a book. Key words being 'seems built' as her personality doesn't match her appearance and behavior. Except in Disappearance. Glasses appear optional.
  • Shin from Saint Beast is a male example.
  • Eighth squad lieutenant Nanao Ise from Bleach wears glasses in her sleep, carries a book everywhere, scolds her Brilliant, but Lazy captain for slacking off and in return, receives some "compliments" from him. Her ex-liutenant and now member of the Visored, Risa Yadomaru, was a Hot Librarian when in their squad and used to read to young Nanao regularly. She's still a Meganekko, but is more often seen reading porn... er, josei manga now.
  • Shiho from Naruto works in Konoha's cryptology department which is filled with books. She seems to be very attractive under her messy hair and thick glasses and has a major crush on Naruto's resident boy genius Shikamaru.
  • The library worker, Akane, from Kämpfer. Fits the trope in normal form, loses the glasses and lets down her hair in alternate form (also goes a little gun crazy).
  • Iina, Aruto and Kokoro from Kokoro Library: Why be satisfied with one librarian? These sisters make this trope triple. Just too bad that there usually goes days between the customers of the titular library...
  • Mia Kouji/Nasuti Yagyuu from Ronin Warriors isn't a 100% bookworm, but she is the granddaughter and heiress of a dead university professor and handles his research to held the warriors, so she counts anyway.
  • Aine Yukimura from Sensual Phrase is a sweet-faced highschool senior with a really cute smile. She's also a talented songwriter and works as such for her Bastard Boyfriend's band Aucifer.
  • Carol Reed from Ouke no Monshou, the cutest archeologist ever.
  • Nanako Misonoo from Oniisama e... is a quiet and sweet-looking Yamato Nadeshiko in training, and has good enough grades to get into the very prestigious Seiran Academy. And then things get hard for her...
  • Shizuku Tsukushima in Whisper of the Heart. Possibly Seiji too, if he actually read all the books he checked out in hopes of getting Shizuku to notice him.

    Comic Book 
  • Mimi Masters of the Ninja High School comic series, a studious and bespectacled teenage redheaded witch who is undeniably extremely attractive for all of her bookishness.

    Fan Works 

    Film 

    Literature 
  • The titular Matilda is a quiet, polite litte girl who loves books more than anything else and whose amazing intellect isolates her from others.
  • Harry Potter and Ron Weasley learn the hard way in The Goblet of Fire that Hermione Granger looks rather cute underneath the bushy hair, know-it-all attitude, social awkwardness, and book fetish — she just finds it to be too much trouble.
  • The initial attraction between Betsy Ray and Joe Willard in Betsy-Tacy hinges on them both being bookworms. Until they're almost engaged, almost all of their interactions involve books in some way.
  • ''A Mage's Power: In the words of Tasio, Annala is a "cute and sweet nerd".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Daniel Jackson on Stargate SG-1 starts out as one of these before he Took a Level in Badass. He's awkward, nerdy, has peek-a-bangs, wears glasses, and stutters when he's nervous. He's also a huge linguistics nerd which leads to him spending a lot of time reading be it books, or the walls of ancient tombs.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow spends much of her time in the library with Giles or on a computer. When Willow first appears, Cordelia mocks her clothes, joking about having seen the softer side of Sears. She tends to start saying something, then tail off as she realizes thinks that whatever she is saying is weird.
  • Annie Edison on Community, especially in the first season. Over time her character becomes less focused on school and doing well, but still remains extremely cute.

    Manhua 
  • Lu Xiao from Infinity Game, who is the library assistant and has apparently read every book in the library.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Hiroko in Yume Miru Kusuri which is immensely different from the 'normal' face she presents as Nekoko because her normal life pains her.
  • Kotomi Ichinose in CLANNAD is very socially awkward, shy and ridiculously intelligent.
  • Hanako in Katawa Shoujo, though the social isolation is actually due to a complex over her burn scars. The Peek-a-Bangs part of the trope are also for the same reason. Still a shy, quiet bookworm that covers her face, though.
  • Mio from Little Busters! is almost always found on her own, reading books quietly. Underneath that, she's less passive than most examples, having a rather snarky, perverted, ruthless side to her, but underneath that she's a wonderfully kind girl with a terrible guilt complex and a tendency to worry too much. And her younger self, who was very shy and used books and make-believe to escape into other worlds, was this trope even more so.
  • Maino in Yumina The Ethereal, who is, of course, the school's librarian.
  • True Love Junai Monogatari gives us two: Remi Himekawa (the very booskmart vice-president of the student council) and Miyuki Tanaka (the local highschool artist).

    Webcomics 
  • Criminy from Sinfest is a good male example, from inside his fort of books. His large eyes, intellect, and a sweet demeanour are what Fuchsia falls in love with.
  • Suko, the demonic princess from Heart Core, has a very obvious fixation for reading to the point where it has become an obsesion. Some of her powers are even based around books!

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Phoebe Heyerdahl from Hey Arnold! represents many stereotypical "smart girl" tropes (Asian and Nerdy, diminutive size, soft spoken and painfully shy with oval eyeglasses and is almost always found reading in the library. Arguably the most intelligent character on the show and was once offered the chance to skip two grade levels. (She gave it a try, but turned it down because she had trouble making new friends.)
  • Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic - she even lives in a library. Not so much shy as she is insecure about how much more powerful she is than everyone else. Her knowledge of facts even made her the default character to provide exposition as needed. And when she became a princess, her first reaction was to ask Princess Celestia if there was a book about it.
  • Jeanette from Alvin and the Chipmunks.
  • Library Kid from Recess subverts this. She appears to be cute and shy, and is always in the library...but when outside, she's an insane Genki Girl.
    • Gretchen could fall under this trope, though she's not as shy.
  • Jinora, one of Aang's three grandchildren from The Legend of Korra, combines this with Little Miss Snarker. She makes reference to reading about her Gran-Gran's adventures, and reads at the dinner table.
  • Slightly subverted with Lisa Simpson: She is young, cute, and very bookish, but she's neither very shy (Except on some occasions) nor vulnerable.
  • Velma on Scooby-Doo, most notably on A Pup Named Scooby Doo. As a teen she's classified as "Hollywood Ugly" (she's not gorgeous but she's not ugly, either) and quite studious. In Pup, Velma is sweet and quiet-spoken as well as smart. This is lampshaded in a flashback scene of a What's New, Scooby Doo? episode where a birthday clown destroys her prized gift of encyclopedias and she runs off crying.
  • Double D on Ed, Edd n Eddy. He's the cutest character on the show and has an exaggerated enthusiasm over reading and gaining knowledge.


Badass BookwormIntroversion TropesHot Librarian
Cute and PsychoRule of CuteCute Bruiser
BookwormBookish TropesGenius Book Club
Cool and Unusual PunishmentImageSource/WebcomicsThe Devil Is a Loser

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