Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge: Rory’s Best Bookish Moments, Part II

Last week, I promised another set of excellent bookish moments from the Gilmore Girls series … those moments when Rory—because it’s usually Rory—does something that makes you chuckle with sympathetic identification as you look back on your life as a reader. And by “look back,” I mean, like, to earlier today.

Let it be noted that I keep my promises. Here are five more "that's so me" bookish moments:
See words, read words.

Sometimes, when I’m walking or driving down a street, I’ll find myself reading whatever words I see, sometimes out loud, sometimes in my head. It’s not intentional. It’s intuitive. When I see words, I read them. If you relate, then you’ll probably chuckle watching the opening of the season two episode called “Hammers and Veils.”

It begins with Lorelai ceremonially descending the stairs from her room wearing a veil crafted from newsprint. She’s trying, she explains to a puzzled Rory, to determine her ideal veil length and used newspaper to make samples. But Rory isn’t listening. She’s too busy trying to read the print framing Lorelai’s face. I mean, can you blame her?

Ideal date location? A bookstore (online included).

In that same episode, Rory panics when she realizes her college applications' extracurricular activities section will be spare, if not bare. After much fretting, and some needling from Paris, Rory volunteers to build houses, Habitat for Humanity-style.

Meantime, her boyfriend Dean misses spending time with her and isn’t shy about expressing it. In desperation, he makes a hard-to-refuse offer: a long date at the bookstore, where he offers to watch her “browse for six or seven hours.” Thanks to online shopping, though Rory can fret over her applications, volunteer, and fulfill a bookstore date, by browsing books on Amazon later. “You’ll be just as bored watching me order books,” she promises him. Though I find this a sub-par option. Shop local!

Paperback or and hardcover.

Later in season two (episode 15), Rory and Dean are at the Star’s Hollow Library’s book sale. Dean is clearly bored (see visual) while Rory could go on shopping for…ever? As Dean politely fumes, Rory debates whether to purchase a paperback copy of Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poem." She explains, “I already have it in hardback. This is a paperback. Fits perfectly in a coat pocket, and it’s only a dollar.” Sensible!

Just when it seems Rory will finally check out with her her fairly modest (by my book sale standards) book stack. Gypsy asks her if she has seen the astronomy section. Good thing Dean excels at patience and compromise…

Recognizing the importance of returning library books promptly.

One of the show’s “Freaky Friday” moments, when Lorelai and Rory seem to be trading roles, happens at the end of season five: Lorelai posts bail for Rory. This after Rory attempts to steal a boat with Logan. Back in Star’s Hollow, with Rory waiting in the car, Lorelai pops into Luke’s for sustenance, and to vent. What story does she tell to perfectly encapsulate Rory’s trademark honesty? The story of the time Rory became distraught after returning “The Iliad” late to the library.

Lorelai quoting a weeping Rory: “Now no one else got to read ‘The Iliad’ this week because of me!” Not cool. Seriously.

Taking inspiration from literature.

When season seven begins, Logan has gone off to London, leaving Rory lonely at Yale. Paris, whose boyfriend Doyle also graduated the previous season, happens to be going through the same problem. So she shares her personal tip with Rory: exchanging “intimate” text messages. Rory is aghast, not least because Paris is very good at multi-tasking while conversing with Rory (if you get my meaning). But also because … awkward.

In need of inspiration, Rory does what people have done for centuries when they’ve needed help finding words to express themselves: They turn to writers and their books. In Rory’s case, Henry Miller. It may not exactly be love poetry, but anyway…

With seven regular seasons and four revival episodes, I have a feeling I’ve just managed to scratch the surface of the series’ best bookish moments. What are your favorites?

We would love for you to join us on this challenge. To see the complete list of books, please visit The Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge. If you would like to participate, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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