Thursday, November 19, 2009

So this is what a total book geek I am...

I'm a little worried about even writing this post, because this is a bit embarrassing. I guess I'm hoping I'm not the only one out there who thinks like this...

Do you ever see people - I mean, actual, real-life people - and immediately you get the feeling they have stepped from the pages of a book by a particular author? There is a beautiful young woman who works at a sandwich shop near my house. Every time I see her can't help but thing she looks exactly like a protagonist from an Isabel Allende novel. I'd take her picture and post it here for your input, but like I said, she's an actual real person and might find that a tiny bit invasive of her privacy.

And then there's this tall, handsome young man with a sensitive, broody look to him, who works at a restaurant I sometimes go to. The moment I saw him, I thought Charles de Lint. Not the writer, but definitely one of his characters. And there's a lovely little girl who comes into my library from time to time. Her hair is in two long, shiny inky braids, and she has wide dark eyes that see right through you, and I can't help but think she might have stepped from the pages of an as-yet unwritten Neil Gaiman novel.

I could go on, but I imagine that most of you are quietly backing away, shaking your heads. I suppose I can count myself lucky that I haven't seen anyone who looks remotely Clive Barkerish lately....

The above image is from the Neiman Marcus Pop-Up Book


  1. No, I totally get what you're saying. 100%! Sometimes I'll see someone and think "if they aren't a character from a book, they NEED to be!" and then I jot down the description and never follow through with the writing. Heh.

  2. Perhaps to prove my own geekiness, I don't have this superpower but I *really* wish I did. And yes, I believe it is a superpower.

  3. what a great observation. I don't know if I do this or not but I do know that some people you meet in person are so much better than anyone you could ever imagine.

  4. I was having a conversation about Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series with a woman I'd just met. She told me of a tall, good-looking red-headed Scottish man she'd met and how embarrassing it had been to call him Jamie (the Outlander hunk). The man looked at her and said, "Why do all you American women always call me that?"

  5. That is awesome. I don't think I've ever had that experience, but I have an awful habit of not perfectly forming a person's face and body in my head while reading. They are ghost figures. I never know exactly what they look like, only what they don't look like...if that makes sense. :)

  6. I am more like Trisha, getting an impression or form more often than an exact mental picture of a character. So, I wish I had your ability! :) And Caroline, that is hysterical!


  7. I don't do this often, since I don't typically picture characters' faces, but I was taking an EXTREMELY boring class a few years ago, right about the time I had just finished reading the Wheel of Time series for the first time, and instead of doodling, I would amuse myself by going around and deciding who each of my classmates would be if they were in the WoT-verse. :)

  8. I've never had that thought but now I'm going to be looking around going, "Which book do you belong in?" Argh! :)

  9. Now I'm going to be wondering what books people come from all day! LOL

  10. Yeesh! It seems I answered all your comments in my head! Sorry about that.

    Cat - I'm glad I'm not the only one with blurred fictional/real world issues. :)

    Kiirstin - Ha, a superpower! Is it also a superpower to be able to carry on conversations (of which I'm unaware) with other people while I'm reading a book? That used to get me in so much trouble when I was a kid. What do you mean, I promised to rake the yard/clean the bathroom/wash the dog? Huh? :-)

    Heather - That is true!

    Caroline - That is hilarious!

    Trisha - I know exactly what you mean. I do that sometimes for some characters, but for others for whatever reason I have vivid images of them in my mind. Which explains, I suppose, why some movie versions of books really bother me, and others seem to fit just right.

    Wendy - Maybe it'll start happening to you, too, now that you're thinking about it. :-)

    Fyrefly - That's so funny! What a great way to pass the time. I'll have to remember that at my next work meeting...

    Bibliovore- Teehee!

    Serena - You'll have to let me know who you discover. :-)

  11. Sure, that's also a superpower (or at least it would be if I lived in the universe of Alcatraz Smedry). I *definitely* have that one. An example of this superpower in action:

    "Hey, weren't you going to put the kettle on for tea?"

    "I was?"

    "Okay, I'll put it on. Can you pour it when it boils?"

    "Sure, no problem."

    ten minutes later...

    "Did you pour the water for the tea?"

    "Did I pour the what for the what?"

    Yep. Superpower. I shall call it "SuperPrintAwareness" to make the ALA proud. I am so aware of print I can't possibly be aware of anything else at the same time ;)

  12. I totally get what you are saying. And why not - inspiration comes from our mind and our external senses, including authors. I have seen many people that not only look like the characters I read about but also act like I think they would.


  13. Kiirstin - Ha! That is EXACTLY the kind of conversation I have when I'm reading (with identical results). It is funny now, though, because both my kids have been doing it to ME lately. It's hard to be annoyed with them!

    Carey - It is comforting to know I'm not alone in this!

  14. I wouldn't say that happens to me on a regular basis... but it does happen. The reverse happens, too--I read about a character and immediately think of a RL person.

  15. Heidenkind - That is interesting, the other way around - I don't think that happens to me as much. I bet it will now, though - thanks so much. :-)


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