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A cute and brainy bibliophile, this trope embodies the cute, shy, and vulnerable archetype as applied to a nerdy girl. She wanders around with her head in a book, and is ready to spout out facts at the drop of a hat. There's a tendency for her to be shy, young, quiet and socially awkward. Occasionally this is highlighted by having her wear glasses, or have her bangs in her face to hide her eyes. She'll almost always be more conservatively dressed than most of the cast.

This trope tends to be female, but there are male examples, though they tend to be younger males, or at least look like it. With regards to occupation, they might be a scientist, a librarian, a schoolgirl, a wizard, or something similar in nature.

May overlap with Badass Bookworm, Lovable Nerd, Intelligence Equals Isolation, and Adorkable. Contrast Hot Librarian for an older more authoritative version. Subtrope of Bookworm.

Examples of Cute Bookworm include:

Anime and Manga

  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has a male example with Yuuno Scrya. Head librarian of the Infinity Library but he grew up to be quite the bishie after the Time Skip.
    • We also have Nanoha's daughter, Vivio, who was already a title librarian of the Infinity Library at the age of nine.
  • Pictured above: In Mahou Sensei Negima, Nodoka Miyazaki fills this role. She's extremely bookish, wears her hair over her face and works at the school Library Of Babel. Lord of the Rings is in her top 10 books to have if she is ever stranded on a Deserted Island.
  • Yomiko Readman from Read or Die. Her outright giddiness over books qualifies her, and she spends thousands per week on books. Slightly subverted in that she isn't particularly vulnerable.
  • Levy from Fairy Tail, though she's more Genki Girl than shy. Lucy's also a bit of a bookworm.
  • Sheska from Fullmetal Alchemist. Memorized the whole library, wears glasses and cute as a button.
  • Shiori from The World God Only Knows to the extent that Keima actually begins grading her according to the librarian girl archetype from his beloved dating sims.
  • Yuki Nagato from Suzumiya Haruhi seems built to be a perfect example of this as the only member of the now defunct Literature Club and her head constantly in a book. Key words being 'seems built' as her personality doesn't match her appearance and behavior. Except in Disappearance. Glasses appear optional.
  • Shin from Saint Beast is a male example.
  • Eighth squad lieutenant Nanao Ise from Bleach wears glasses in her sleep, carries a book everywhere, scolds her Brilliant but Lazy captain for slacking off and in return, receives some "compliments" from him. Her ex-liutenant and now membress of the Visored, Risa Yadomaru, was a Hot Librarian when in their squad and used to read to young Nanao regularly. She's still a Meganekko, but is more often seen reading porn... er, Josei manga now.
  • Shiho from Naruto works in Konoha's cryptology department which is filled with books. She seems to be very attractive under her messy hair and thick glasses and has a major crush on Naruto's resident boy genius Shikamaru.
  • The library worker, Akane, from Kämpfer. Fits the trope in normal form, loses the glasses and lets down her hair in alternate form (also goes a little gun crazy).
  • Iina, Aruto and Kokoro from Kokoro Library: Why be satisfied with one librarian? These sisters make this trope triple. Just too bad that there usually goes days between the customers of the titular library...
  • Mia Kouji/Nasuti Yagyuu from Ronin Warriors isn't a 100% bookworm, but she is the granddaughter and heiress of a dead university professor and handles his research to help the Five-Man Band, so she counts anyway.
  • Aine Yukimura from Sensual Phrase is a sweet-faced highschool senior with a really cute smile. She's also a talented songwriter and works as such for her Bastard Boyfriend's band Aucifer.
  • Carol Reed from Oke no Monshou, the cutest archeologist ever.
  • Nanako Misono from Oniisama e....
  • Shizuku Tsukushima in Whisper of the Heart. Possibly Seiji too, if he actually read all the books he checked out in hopes of getting Shizuku to notice him.
  • Ami (Sailor Mercury) from Sailor Moon, who prefers eating sandwiches because they leave a hand free for reading, takes books to the beach, and doesn't appear to have many friends outside of the Sailor Senshi.

Comic Books

  • Mimi Masters of the Ninja High School comic series, a studious and bespectacled teenage redheaded witch who is undeniably extremely attractive for all of her bookishness.

Fan Works



  • The titular Matilda is a sweet, shy girl whose amazing intellect isolates her from others.
  • Harry Potter and Ron learn the hard way in The Goblet of Fire that Hermione looks rather cute underneath the bushy hair, know-it-all attitude, social awkwardness, and book fetish—she just finds it to be too much trouble.
  • The initial attraction between Betsy Ray and Joe Willard in Betsy Tacy hinges on them both being bookworms. Until they're almost engaged, almost all of their interactions involve books in some way.

Live-Action TV

  • Angel: Fred Burkle.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow, especially in the first few seasons, is practically the definition of this trope. When she first appears, Cordelia mocks her cloths, joking about having seen the softer side of Sears. She tends to start saying something, then tail off as she realizes thinks that whatever she is saying is weird.
  • Community: Annie Edison, especially in the first season. Over time her character becomes less focused on school and doing well, but still remains extremely cute.
  • Gilmore Girls: Rory. Also, Lisa, another student at Chilton who is very similar to Rory.
  • Never Have I Ever: Fabiola Torres is in robotics class, but fits all the other criteria. She's smart, cute, not very outspoken. She even gets publicly angry at one point and afterwards comments, “I'm not used to popping off. It's very exhausting”
  • Stargate SG-1: Daniel Jackson starts out as one of these before he Took a Level in Badass. He's awkward, nerdy, has peek-a-bangs, wears glasses, and stutters when he's nervous. He's also a huge linguistics nerd which leads to him spending a lot of time reading be it books, or the walls of ancient tombs.

Visual Novels

  • Hiroko in Yume Miru Kusuri which is immensely different from the 'normal' face she presents as Nekoko because her normal life pains her.
  • Kotomi Ichinose in Clannad is very socially awkward, shy and ridiculously intelligent.
  • Hanako in Katawa Shoujo, though the social isolation is actually due to a complex over her burn scars. The Peek-a-Bangs part of the trope are also for the same reason. Still a shy, quiet bookworm that covers her face, though.

Video Games

  • Tokimeki Memorial 1 has Mio Kisaragi, a cute and shy Meganekko who loves reading books (to the point of reading four of them per day), thus she spends a lot of her time at libraries, and she often helps at Kirameki High's one. It's also her who finds the Soccer Manual that'll help the protagonist improve his striker skills, during the storyline of the side game Nijiiro no Seishun.
  • Estelle from Tales of Vesperia is absolutely in love with reading. Rita also qualifies in her calmer moments.
  • Patchouli Knowledge always has a book in her hand and peek-a-bangs to boot.
  • Maria/Mary in various Harvest Moon games is a cute, shy, Meganekko, but still she is a librarian.

Web Comics

  • Criminy from Sinfest is a good male example, from inside his fort of books. His large eyes, intellect, and a sweet demeanour are what Fuchsia falls in love with.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Phoebe Heyerdahl from Hey Arnold! represents many stereotypical "smart girl" tropes (Asian and Nerdy, diminutive size, soft spoken and painfully shy with oval eyeglasses and is almost always found reading in the library. Arguably the most intelligent character on the show and was once offered the chance to skip two grade levels. (She gave it a try, but turned it down because she had trouble making new friends.)
  • Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic - she even lives in a library.
  • Jeanette from Alvin and The Chipmunks.
  • Library Kid from Recess subverts this. She appears to be cute and shy, and is always in the library...but when outside, she's an insane Genki Girl.
    • Gretchen could fall under this trope.
  • Jinora, one of Aang's three grandchildren from The Legend of Korra, combines this with Little Miss Snarker. She makes reference to reading about her Gran-Gran's adventures, and reads at the dinner table.