Bookmaids

Books have always been better friends to me than actual people. They show up when needed, are not usually judgmental but don’t mince words, and often somehow have the right thing to say for a particular moment. Friends seem to fill a particular segment in time in my life, then vanish into the night or slow fade like fabric too long in the sun.

Nevertheless, I still seem to be required to line up a row of bestest friends for display at this impending public commitment of my affections to the co-conspirator, and aside from my sister, required by blood to stand by my side, I have no one quite right to stand with me.

A shame, it is, it can’t be characters sprung to life in 3 dimensions, color coordinated and sweet and wise. But if it could, whom would I choose? This is still difficult, having read some of my favorite books so long ago but here’s an attempt:

  • Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, for her wit and humor. 
  • Meg Carpenter, from Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas, for her creative overthinking and meandering, insightful observations
  • Larry, an old, dear friend from The Razor’s Edge, by Somerset Maugham, which I haven’t read in years so perhaps I’m romanticizing a bit, for the comfort of an old friend. 
  • And maybe Hermione, from Harry Potter (although I’ve only read the first three) for her knowledgeable reliability, and to keep us all on task.

Which characters would you prefer to know in your own life?

  • A list that comes quickly to mind:

    Tessie from A Gate at the Stairs. Her witty cynicism is delightful. I felt like her entire character was a depiction of me (well, I possessed a lot more motivation) at that uncertain age.

    Antonia from My Antonia because of her love of life and her will to work hard.

    Cassandra from I Capture the Castle. Although she’s capricious at times; her love of the natural beauty of the landscape that seems otherwise drab is refreshing. She manages to see the good in all things.

    Margaret in The 13th Tale. She loves books and works in a bookstore. She doesn’t seem like she’d probably talk to me. Ever.

    That’s a small list. I could go on and on… What does that say about me?

    Congratulations!

  • Ben

    Jimmy Markum, from Mystic River would be a terrific friend to have.

    So would be Tyler Durden (since 1999 there’s been myseriously over three thousand Tyler Durdens listen in the world)

    Other than that, Bubba Rogowitz, friend the Kenzie stories and Tom Hagen from The Godfather would be useful.

  • Janie from Their Eyes Were Watching God, for her courage and revolutionary ideas.

    Renée Michel from The Elegance of the Hedgehog for her knowledge and humble outlook on life.

    Daisy from Daisy Miller for her unconventional behavior and and care-free nature.

    Gogol from The Namesake because I think he needs a good friend, and a hug for that matter.

  • Red

    Thursday Next from the Thursday Next series. She’s smart, strong and funny. Oh and she works with literary characters