I don’t know if you have been following it on Twitter (some of you might not have Twitter, I would urge you to join as it is far more booky than you might imagine) however #bookadayuk has been a daily joy for me. All through the month of June the folks at Borough Press, a new imprint of Harper Collins, have been asking us to tweet pictures of books that match a certain theme. There have been books we have never finished, the best book we have ever found second hand, the books we think everyone else should have read but haven’t, etc, etc. Today they have asked a question that has had me well and truly stumped… Which character in a book would you want to be?
Worryingly after a day of so or thinking about it I couldn’t come up with a single one. You see whilst there may have been many, many, many books which I wish I had been in (as an additional character or a bystander) there are absolutely no characters that I would want to swap places with because if they were my favourites I would rather hang out with them than trade places.
For example in the case of two of my very favourite characters Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, I wouldn’t want to be either of them but I would give anything and everything to be caught up in an adventure with them physically as I have mentally again and again over the years. The idea of being Holmes (an opium addict who plays my least favourite instrument ever) doesn’t do it to me at all, and neither would being his sidekick, I’ve never wanted to be a doctor and certainly not one in the Victorian period. However, hop into a handsome cab and head through the streets of Victorian London with a game afoot and I would be there with them both in a moment.
It has always been so for me, this isn’t my adult brain trying to be ‘realistic’. As a child I always wanted to be the best friend of Mildred Hubble aka The Worst Witch and share a dorm with her and Tabby. I wanted the Famous Five to be the Stupendous Six. I wanted to live in Whitby and be part of uncovering a gang of witches up to no good. I wanted to befriend Matilda in the library or be Miss Honey’s nephew who would visit. I never wanted to be a character, just join in as I was doing vicariously turning the pages and getting lost in the world.
Today though I am feeling like it is just me as I have seen people over and over mentioning characters they would like to be, so I thought I would share this thought with all of you and see if it is just me that is the freak or if any of you would rather be an addition character in a book rather than trading places with one (if you would like to swap places with a character the don’t be shy and share with us who it is) and being a part of the world the book creates?
10 responses to “If You Could Be A Character In A Book, Who Would You Be?”
I agree, Simon. I’ve been gamely posting my books but couldn’t really think of a character I’d want to be for today’s. Maybe a vague ‘somebody in a Nancy Mitford novel’, but that seemed a bit…lame? Like you, I’ve really enjoyed the challenges thrown up by #bookadayuk, though!
I would be Tom Ripley; why not pick someone you would not be in real life
I have been blogging this too, although I am 2 weeks behind 🙂
I like your thoughts about wanting to join in, I had never thought about it that way. I want to take aspects of certain characters and be more like them as I think it would make life more fun. I’d love to be more like Nanny Ogg 🙂
I think I’d like to be a female version of James Herriot in any of the books. I love the wonderful character and his humour, understanding, frustrations, compassion and observations of people and animals.
Got to be Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie a real tec with all the flaws and faults or possibly John Harvey’s superb Resnick. Neither are lucky but both very complex and humane
Oh, I love Jackson. But I think he’s too troubled and gets into quite some fights he loses for my taste. I could do with Louise Monroe though!
I always wanted to be Nancy Blackett from the Swallows and Amazon books. Still do, really!
I dream of being THE woman or as many know her, Irene Adler. I love the idea of being Sherlock as well, but the opium addiction troubles a little bit…
I’d be Alice in Wonderland, just to hang out with the Cheshire Cat ! Or Jo March from Little Women because I love her. Or Hermione Granger in Harry Potter because she’s so smart and awesome. Or Thursday Next because she can meet all the characters she wants to !
I would love to be Sarah Layton on her train-journey to calcutta, talking to the nurses on their way out to shillong + then suddenly to decide not to visit “that man merrick” in hospital in cal but to join the other two + have a life of my own
but I would also like to accompany Laszlo Almasy + his companions into the desert, to the cave of swimmers + sitting around a fire in the evenings reading stories (out of herdodotus for example)