I have a thing for any book character who loves books as much as I do… It’s like a weird kind of fictional inception. Give me a character who swoons over a leather bound first edition, and I’m 100% on board!
Here’s a list of books where the main character adores books as much as us real life nerds… you’ll be treated to bookish settings, descriptions of that glorious book smell, and most importantly (I think), that special way of seeing the world… like magic and adventure are lurking under the fabric of reality just waiting to be poked.
Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
Full disclosure - I bought this book purely because the cover and title are gorgeous. It’s a contemporary novel, which is not my usual genre. Not surprisingly, I didn’t enjoy the story that much (it took me three months to wallow through it), BUT the main character owns a canal boat in Paris that has been converted into a bookstore.
*cue my swooning*
It does have a 4.5 star rating on Booktopia - so if you like the sound of a melancholy man discovering himself on a journey through the French countryside and meeting some truly wacky characters, then you’ll enjoy this one!
Buy it here.
Magic Ex Libris by Jim C. Hines
I’ve said it before… this is one of the most underrated fantasy series of all time.
The main character, Isaac, is a librarian with a particular fondness for science fiction and fantasy books.
Oh, and he’s also a member of a secret society of people who have the magical ability to pull items out of books based on the collective belief of the readership.
I KNOW, RIGHT??
My favourite thing about this series is that it’s an urban fantasy … Set in a small town in the USA in modern times. Except, you know, there’s a pack of southern werewolves who live in the woods, and vampires who run daycare centres.
The story perfectly blends reality with fantasy, and I’’ve never read anything quite like it (except maybe Harry Potter, but that largely takes place in the Wizarding World that feels distinctly seperate to “real life”).
Anyway, if you love fantasy, books, mythical creatures and a whole lot of witty dialogue, make sure you check out this series.
Buy it here.
The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts by Annie Darling
While I haven’t read this series (yet - I’m still waiting for the first one to come back in stock!), I’ve seen a lot of positive reviews of these books.
Just listen to this description:
“Once upon a time in a crumbling London bookshop, Posy Morland spent her life lost in the pages of her favourite romantic novels…”
I’m a sucker for any story set in London, but add a quaint bookstore and a budding romance on top of that, and I am THERE.
There are three books in the series, and I understand that they each follow a different protagonist but are loosely connected. Sounds like the perfect holiday or rainy day read.
Buy it here.
Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor
This series was highly anticipated after the huge success of Taylor’s last lot of books, the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy.
Lazlo Strange is an orphan who finds solace in his books - but especially the fairytales that everyone else writes off as utter nonsense. The story is set in a medieval-esque fantasy world (and you get to see quite a bit of it as they travel throughout the story).
The first few chapters introduce us to the world through one of the most beautiful libraries I have ever imagined, and it’s well worth reading just to get to those descriptions!
Ultimately I wasn’t thrilled with how the book ended, but it’s definitely got me wondering what’s going to happen next. If you enjoy fantastical plots with unusual cultures, powers, and deep, dark secrets, then this is worth picking up!
Buy it here.
The sequel, Muse of Nightmares, will be released soon, too. So you won’t have to wait for ages for the next book like the rest of us!
Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly
I wanted a lighthearted read for a weekend away and picked up this book… It’s actually set within the story of Beauty and the Beast, sort of like a midquel (a sequel set WITHIN an existing story). The story mostly takes place in the famed fictional library within Beast’s castle, where Belle finds a magical book that transports her to another world.
I’d say this is probably aimed at late primary school ages, though it does have some dark themes and macabre moments towards the end. If your child scares easily, I wouldn’t recommend this book … but if they can deal with a few scary and interesting twists on a fairytale that they love, then go for it!
Buy it here.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
This is officially one of my favourite contemporary reads. I actually read it in one sitting! It's a sweet coming-of-age story about Cather, a college freshman navigating growing up and university life while still being a total fangirl and writing an extremely popular fan fiction.
There's lots of complicated emotions and relationships that I think all fangirls can relate to, and it'll ultimately leave you with all the warm fuzzy feelings.
Buy it here (the hardcover version is gorgeous!)
P.S. If you're a total fangirl, you should totally check out this Fangirling in Progress pin and wear your nerdiness with pride!
Do you have any favourite books about book nerds that aren’t on this list? I’d love to hear about them! Come hang out with me on instagram where we’re always chatting about awesome bookish things.
N.B. I get an affiliate commission from every sale made via these links to Book Depository (my fave place to buy books online! FREE SHIPPING yo!), but it doesn't cost you any extra! Talk about a win-win!