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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.)

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" Aesop attitude.

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

Examples of Bookworm include:


Anime and Manga

  • Sheiska 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 Magical Girl 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.
    • 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.
  • Ami Mizuno from Sailor Moon fits this trope very well. She often spends time reading books and she is also extremely intelligent.

Film -- Animated

  • Belle from Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
  • And Rapunzel, from Tangled. At a pace of up to 6 books daily, she apparently reads much faster than Belle. 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...

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).

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. Not only is the show Anvilicious about it, they also don't seem to recognize the hypocrisy.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mr. Bennet, Elizabeth Bennet, and Mary Bennett of Pride and Prejudice
  • 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.
  • The Bookworms in The War Between the Pitiful Teachers and the Splendid Kids (and the sequel, Skinny Malinky Leads the War for Kidness).
  • Nita from Young Wizards. It's apparently very common for wizards.
  • Flavia Gemina of The Roman Mysteries
  • 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."

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.
  • See The Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough At Last"
  • While it's only touched on every once in awhile, part of the Backstory 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.

Newspaper Comics

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!

Theatre

  • 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.

Video Games

  • Canas in Fire Emblem Rekka, 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.
  • 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 Project has Patchouli Knowledge, who lives in her own personal Library of Babel, 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 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.

Web Comic

  • 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.
  • Sukina Lashiec from Heartcore loves her some books. Fittingly, her muse is listed as "books".

Western Animation

  • Lisa Simpson.
  • In an episode of the Czech animated series Staflik A Spagetka, one of the dog protagonists is made into this 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.
    • During the episode "Read It and Weep," Rainbow Dash becomes one while recovering from a broken wing, but is ashamed to admit it.
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