Fictive Folk with Whole Words: A Reading Project

The title, admittedly, might need some work, but I’ve had this essential premise brewing for some time now: exploring books read by your favourite television and/or film characters, who may or may not be based on characters from books themselves. Fictional men and women reading fiction (or non-fiction, too) — the thought alone opens up endless possibilities for interpretation. For instance, how much can we glean about the character of True Blood‘s Tara Thornton, when in our first glimpse of her, she’s reading The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein, and studiously ignoring an admittedly-obnoxious customer at the Super-Sav-A-Bunch?

She’s not messing around, either — that’s a hardcover.

The genesis for this idea probably began stirring with my teenaged Gilmore Girls obssession. I wanted to read everything Rory had ever read, and it secretly pleased me that, in fact, so much of her library was *my* library, too. I wouldn’t dare try to claim this as an original concept: a simple Google search for “Rory Gilmore Reads” will return several well-conceived book blog challenges and meticulously-moderated reading lists. It’s heartening, in fact, to see how we flesh and bone bibliophiles adore and support the reading habits of our fictionalized archetypes, wherever we may find them.

Rory Gilmore reads James Joyce’s Ulysses, and The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. What would hook me, back then (and even now) were the rapt looks of concentration on her face — like there was truly nowhere she’d rather be, but there with the pages and print. 

I don’t know just yet the specific form that this reading project will take, but it feels freshly promising to embark on it, in the fine company of all you Novel Nichers. Feel free to shower me with suggestions, or links to images of your favourite fictional characters cuddled up to their treasured tomes.

If you were a character in a film or episodic series, what book would you most want to be caught reading?

Links of Interest:
Tumblr: Fictional Characters Reading Books
The Reading Lists of Your Favourite Fictional Characters – Flavorwire
What’s on Rory Gilmore’s Bookshelf? – Bust Magazine
What Does Don Draper Read? – Black Book
♣ Tumblr: The Lisa Simpson Book Club
♣ 10 Fictional Bookworms And What They Imply about Real Bookworms – L.B. Gale

Jess Mariano reads Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude at a moment in the Gilmore Girls plot that’s poignantly apt. He was, admittedly, a first class bumscullion, but his earnest devotion to literature made him well-nigh irresistible. That, and Milo Ventimiglia is gorgeous.