If you're a book geek holding a book, and in that book there's a fictional book geek holding her own book...do you fall into a wormhole of awesome nerdiness? Apparently not, because we would've been lost in space ages ago. But if you're still holding out hope for a portal to nerdfinity, here are our favorite fictional book geeks to help you test the theory:
Hermione Granger (Harry Potter). She just can't help being the smartest girl in the library—even if it doesn't always help her win friends and influence people. But there's nobody we'd rather have by our side when facing off against bullies, O.W.L.'s, or the Dark Lord himself.
Jo March (Little Women). Who doesn't remember Jo's ridiculous writing hat, or her love of Pilgrim's Progress? The original tomboy had all the time in the world for books, but not so much for Laurie (was anyone else super bummed when she turned him down?).
Belle (Disney's Beauty and the Beast). She's the only Disney "princess" to be seduced not by a pretty face or a sexy chest (hi, Aladdin) but by a library—so she's our kind of girl. We would save literally dozens of dollars in late fees if we had a boyfriend with a private library.
Encyclopaedia Brown (Encyclopedia Brown). We suspect this cold-blooded smartypants had a crush on Sally Kimball, but he was far too busy solving the many mysteries plaguing his seemingly quiet neighborhood to do anything about it. We can't remember him reading all that much, but with a nickname like Encyclopedia, he had to make the list.
Liesel Meminger (The Book Thief). On the day she buries her only brother, and just before leaving her mother forever, Liesel steals her first book: The Grave Digger's Handbook. A young German on the eve of World War II, she can't yet read it, but slowly learns with the help of her foster father. Her love of words catches the attention of Death himself, who has all too many opportunities to spy on her as the war escalates.
Matilda (Matilda). Our favorite bit of trivia about this teeny, precocious bookworm? Roald Dahl originally envisioned her as a manipulative little brat! We're glad he changed his mind, because we don't want to say goodbye to a character who was reading Great Expectations at an age when we were still proud of having mastered the alphabet.
Kilgore Trout (Slaughterhouse-Five, Breakfast of Champions, etc.). I don't know how much reading Trout does, but he's certainly a nerd for the writing of books. He wrote hundreds of works of science fiction, sometimes allegorical, often bizarre, always underappreciated. His tantalizing titles included The Pan-Galactic Straw Boss, Bunker Bingo Party, and Maniacs in the Fourth Dimension.
Comic Book Guy (The Simpsons). Though CBG would likely be unimpressed with his inclusion on this list ("Worst. Listicle. Ever"), we can't help but love him. Just not nearly as much as he loves an incredibly rare graphic novel.
Who's your favorite fictional book nerd?