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What Would Book Fiends Do During the Purge?

The Purge series of films—and now upcoming television show—imagines a not-too-distant alternate reality where all crime is legal for one 12-hour period every year. Apparently, this leads to impressively-costumed murder-gangs. But if all crime is legal, what are the people who aren’t particularly bloodthirsty during this time of prosecution-immunity? What are the book lovers doing?

Posted by Jadzia Axelrod

Downtime: What Our Favorite Lit Characters Do Behind the Scenes​​​​​​​

[source: Stills From Films]

Ever since The Lord of the Rings extended DVDs delivered hours of behind the scenes footage, we’ve been obsessed with learning more about what our favorite actors do to pass time on set. Bungee jumping, drinking, exploring New Zealand—and that was just during The Fellowship! Film stars aren’t the only ones that have fun, though. It can take years for an author to complete a book. That’s a lot of downtime. So we reached out to some famous literary characters to learn more about what they did while waiting for the final pages of their story to be penned.

Posted by J. B. Kish

Fictional Characters We’d Want to Write Love Letters To

What do you do when you’ve got a book crush? When you read a book and find a character in it so extremely swoony that you can’t stop thinking about him or her? When that character takes up all the room in your head? When you’re supposed to be writing a very important email to your boss but instead find yourself wondering out loud if maybe one day Mr. Darcy will march across a field for you? Book crushes are real, people and they should not be taken lightly.

So, how do we combat these all encompassing feelings? Perhaps we should take a, um, page out of Jenny Han’s best-selling YA novel To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (which gets the Netflix movie adaptation treatment on August 17th): Heroine and hopeless romantic Lara Jean Song Covey has an effective way of getting over her biggest crushes—she writes them love letters. Lara Jean’s letters aren’t meant to woo, instead they are meant to help her get a boy (there are five in total) out of her system once and for all. She writes them, tucks them away in her hatbox, and then moves on. Of course, those letters eventually get out and angsty teen romance ensues, but still, the idea of writing letters to get over an obsession is one we can get behind. And so, we did. We selected five literary hunks we just can’t seem to quit, attempted to figure out why exactly we’re crushing so hard, and imagined what a love letter sent to each of them (sealed with a kiss, naturally), would look like.

Letter One

The Recipient: Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen)

Why Him?: Um, he’s only the most romantic leading man in all of literature. Also, he’s very rich but nice to all the people who work for him. See above RE his prowess in walking across fields. If that’s not enough, he always keeps his pond well-stocked which is really something that’s underappreciated these days. Plus, Darcy has proven himself adept at letter-writing—his letter to Elizabeth explaining his past with Wickham is one of the most famous in literature—so he’d probably appreciate a well-written letter.

Contents of the Love Letter: In Darcy’s declaration of love to Elizabeth, he basically gives her a pros and cons list about her character, so this letter would be similar: Dear Darcy, A well-mannered man is hard to find these days—especially one as tall and as brooding as you! I’ll overlook the fact that you refuse to dance (why do you hate fun?) and think literally every person is too loud, because you have said the sentence “My affections and wishes are unchanged; but one word from you will silence me on the subject forever,” out loud and that is so hot it hurts.

Letter Two

The Recipient: Nicholas Young (Crazy Rich Asians series by Kevin Kwan)

Why Him?: He’s the Asian Prince Harry! Not only is he extremely handsome, basically royalty, and a true romantic—but the guy knows how to have a good time. He had me at Singaporean street food. Okay, he also had me with his access to several chateaus.

Contents of the Love Letter: Nick has lots of admirers, and has heard it all before, but he’s a man who appreciates sincerity: I know your family’s crazy—I love you anyway. I know people will always want things from you and sometimes you’ll have to give it to them—I love you anyway. I know your mom is, well—I love you anyway. I know some of your homes you share with family—I guess I’ll learn to live with that.

Letter Three

The Recipient: Laurie (Little Women by Louisa May Alcott)

Why Him?: He’s charming as hell and he gets done dirty by the March sisters. I mean, Amy? He ends up with Amy? Hasn’t the poor guy suffered enough?

Contents of the Love Letter: When writing to Laurie, one should keep in mind that the guy’s first love was a writer. I know you’ve had your heart broken before, that you’ve suffered many losses in your life, and I wish I could take that pain away. But we could be happy together, Laurie! Traveling all over the European continent taking in the wonders of the world or just staying home and keeping warm during the Massachusetts winters, all of it would be a great adventure because we would be together. You have been worthy, Laurie, and so perhaps your worthy love has come.

Letter Four

The Recipient: Captain Hook (Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up and Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie)


Contents of the Love Letter: Dearest James, Your passion, drive, power, and sailing skills are all very appealing. If only you would stop being obsessed with a gaggle of children who won’t grow up, maybe we’d have a chance. Think of it! We could sail the seas together, wind in our long, wavy hair, avoiding crocodiles and never using clocks. There’d be no bad form about it. What an adventure!

Letter Five

The Recipient: Sirius Black (the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

Why Him?: Although Harry Potter is littered with crush-worthy characters, there’s just something about Sirius Black that sets him apart from the rest. Maybe it’s the whole “I’ve been wrongly imprisoned for the death of my friends and muggles most of my adult-life” thing. Or that he loves Harry so much and is our boy’s first real chance at having the family he’s always dreamed of. But probably, mostly, it’s the fact that he can turn into a dog. A boyfriend and a dog all in one? That is something we could get used to.

Contents of the Love Letter: The letter would need to be bright and cheery since Sirius spent 12 years in a cold, dark cell in Azkaban, and it would most definitely include something like: I don’t care that you have fleas or that your family is the Actual Worst—we all come with baggage. I love you for your bravery, your fiery soul, and your gloriously tousled hair (never cut it). I love you for your loyalty to your friends and the children of your friends. I love you for your interior decorating skills—I mean, it’s a little dark but all the wallpaper at 12 Grimmauld Place is top-notch. Oh, and no big deal, but when you have to go to the Ministry of Magic to save Harry please, please, please, keep your eyes on Bellatrix Lestrange. Okay, byeeeeee.

How about you? Who’s your biggest literary crush and what would you say to him or her in your love letter?


Posted by Maggie Fremont

Most Brooding Bad Boys in Literature

Photo by Nikolai Ulltang from Pexels

Behind ever scowl, dark clothes and unhappy look lies a brooding bad boy. These dark and troubled youths with will steal your girl and even your own heart. Because who doesn’t love a brooding bad boy?

Posted by Sandra Woolf

When Paddington Met Pooh

Winnie the Pooh and Paddington Bear; are there any furrier ursine titans to come out of UK literature? How would this bear of very little brain react to this Peruvian raincoat enthusiast, and vice versa? And, given how easy it is for both of them to get lost, is it too much to imagine that such a meeting might happen when neither of them know where they are? We don’t think so.

Posted by Jadzia Axelrod

The Non-Problematic Qualities of A Book Lover

Is there a partner more perfect, more amiable than a book lover? As a book lover, I can say with absolutely no bias whatsoever, no, there is not. Now and then folks may speak to “problems” with being in the company of book lovers, and to that I say, are these problems? Or do they just not appreciate everything we book lovers bring to the world? In the interest of education, here is a selection of book lover qualities that are in no way, shape, or form, a problem to anyone.

Posted by Jadzia Axelrod