Literary crushes - who would you date?

20:15, Jul 26 2012

I've been a book geek my entire life. It made for interesting times, especially as an awkward teenager trying to fit into the insane circus that was high school. Being a read-a-holic isn't at all like in the movies, where the nerdy girl with the big vocab loosens her ponytail, whips off her glasses and wins over the coolest, hottest guy in town with her brilliant riposte and super-long eyelashes.

For one thing, I went to an all-girls school. Our principal was a nun. At uni I spent far more time reading than partying. So it's no surprise that for a time, the only hotties I crushed on were the ones between the pages of books, or sometimes on the cover. Some were awesome (Rhett Butler), and some not so classy (Fabio; airbrushing has a lot to answer for).

My current literary romantic crushes are eclectic, and will probably change again when I enter another phase of life. In the interest of fairness, I've also done an official survey among my *coughFacebookfriendscough* for crushworthy female characters.

Rhett Butler (Gone With The Wind)

Good lawd, where do I begin? I think his fictional wife, Scarlett O'Hara, described Rhett's draw best: "He looks as if he knows what I look like without my shimmy!" Also, he's well travelled, well read, bitingly sarcastic and there's only one woman in his heart. Which would clearly be me, if I were living in late-19th-century Atlanta and had a 17-inch waist.

T.S Garp (The World According to Garp)


The man is a lunatic in his world view, has a possible mental illness and an unhealthily close relationship with his mother, likes wrestling and cheats on his wife - though that's not one-sided. But he's just so damn likable and brainy despite all these flaws. I know, I know, he's an odd literary crush - we all have them.

  Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in the movie version of To Kill a Mockingbird.
Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)

He defended a black man wrongly accused of rape in the segregated Deep South of the 1930s. Plus, he named his kid Scout, raised her and her brother as a single Dad and faced down the Ku Klux Klan when they threatened to lynch his innocent client. Hot clue that you're getting older - you start crushing on imaginary book characters because they're just so darn responsible.

Anne of Green Gables

Okay, I have to admit I don't quite get this one. Is it the red hair? The freckles? Her superior mothering skills? I think I could understand grown-up Heidi (Swedish milkmaid) but more than one guy in my super-official poll crushed on her. Either I have weird friends, or Anne tugs at some primeval male instinct I can't ever hope to understand.

Stephanie Plum (Janet Evanovich books)

I only have the vaguest idea what a bounty hunter does, and it's mostly thanks to Domino Harvey, a larger-than-life British woman who tracked down criminals for a living and died after overdosing on drugs and drowning in her bathtub - add her to the list of celebrities who should have gone to Rehab with Amy Winehouse. Stephanie Plum seems to be her softer fictional counterpart. All the excitement and looks, minus the addiction problems. 

Honorary mentions go to Peeta from the Hunger Games (soooo sweet, crow several middle-aged ladies), Sherlock Holmes (maybe because Robert Downey Jr plays him in the films), Anna Karenina (again...really?? She threw herself in front of a moving train, people) and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights (I kinda get it, but he's too tortured for me).

The litmus test of a literary romantic crush, I think, is whether you'd date/be swept away by/have a fling/marry the person in real life. Who are yours?

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