From Kurt Vonnegut's Kilgore Trout to Lauren Child's Ruby Redfort and JK Rowling's Beedle the Bard, characters in books are launching literary careers of their own
The most well-rounded fictional characters behave pretty much as we do in real life: between whatever extraordinary episodes make them worthy of their narrative, they eat, sleep, love and, of course, read.
The point at which things start getting complicated, though, is when the made-up books that fictional characters write and read make the leap through "the fourth wall" into the real world. And they're doing so with increasing frequency.
The latest book-within-a-book to make it on to our shelves will be the adventures of Ruby Redfort. Ruby is a children's book character who up until now has only appeared within the pages of Clarice Bean, the popular series created by Lauren Child.