Megan's post made me think of how often I don't really read people's names in books. Well, if it's a normal name like Beth or Joel or Belinda, I read it, but if it's anything weird, or something I haven't heard before, I just sort of look at it, and I take note of it in my head, but I don't say it in my head, if that makes sense. For example, anytime I've read a fantasy book and then I'm trying to talk about it with someone later, I'm embarrassed, because I realize as I'm trying to discuss the plot, I don't really know what anyone is named. I just know Sa------ or Ne------ and I never really bothered to figure out what the rest was. Even in the Lord of the Rings books, I was surprised when I saw the movies and heard "Denethor" or "Eowyn" or whatever, because those were just "that guy that starts with D" and "Eo-something" in my head.
On a vaguely related note, I learned that Evelyn Waugh is . . . a man??!? What on earth? Not that I've ever read any of . . . his . . . books (okay, one), but I've heard the name a lot and always assumed he was a woman. And you know what else? He married a woman named Evelyn!! Weird. Once I knew a guy named Darrin Allison and I always wondered what would happen if a girl named Allison fell in love with him. Would she marry him and brave being Allison Allison forevermore? Or skip her chance at happiness with him and move on? Or I guess she could keep her maiden name? Anyway it didn't end up mattering since I think he married a girl named Lisa. So there you go.
Further reading: http://wesclark.com/ubn/ --check out "The Cream of the Crop"