15 Gorgeous Literary Tattoos

The best tattoos are book related.

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Books touch people in very personal ways, and the tattoos they get to memorialize that are as different as each person wearing one. I’m still deciding which piece of my favorite books I would like decorating my skin forever, but while I look for inspiration I can share the bounty! Just because it’s spring and I’m in the mood for another tattoo.

*I have tried hard to track down credit for each and every photo, but if there are any errors in my credits please let me know and I will fix it and/or delete the photo if needed. I really want the artists to get their due here!*

  1. I love Quentin Blake’s illustrations but I never would have guessed Matilda would make such an awesome tattoo!
sailorsfighting_instagram

credit: sailorsfighting/instagram

2. My favorite place, the Discworld, done with some stunning details. Look at that shading!

tuomaskoivurinne deviantart.com
 

Credit: tuomaskoivurinne deviantart.com

 

3. There are hundreds of deathly hallows tats out there but this Harry Potter tattoo is unique, and gorgeous.

redheadedstepkitten_instagram
 

credit: redheadedstepkitten_instagram

 

4. Wow. Portraits are hard enough, but the placement, the background details, the quote hidden behind Mr. Darcy (who looks like his Matthew McFayden portrayal right? Or is that just me?) plus the sketch appearance of the portraits . . . I’m in awe.

_ankimichler_instagram
 

credit: _ankimichler_instagram

 

5. Not my cup of tea, but I have to respect the artist and it’s a quirky take on immortalizing Dr. Seuss.

recordedbooks_instagram
 

credit: recordedbooks_instagram

 

6. Pretty cool tribute to one of my all time favorite books. Using the old illustrations is an interesting choice, but I like it. All hail the King!

Nikki fullcircletattoos artist terri
 

credit: Nikki fullcircletattoos/instagram. Tattoo Artist:Terri

 

7. Oh I want. So much. It’s delicate, imaginative, colorful. Plus I love the new watercolor style. This artist, Luiza Oliveira, is pretty amazing.

14374055_2113856088839641_3652253555009519616_n
 

credit: Luiza Oliveira on Instagram luiza.blackbird@gmail_files

 

8. More watercolor. This one’s a little more abstract and I love the book details.

Leitor Nervoso
 

credit: Leitor Nervoso/instagram

 

 

9. Something about the geometric design and colors catches my eye.

Justice Ink
 

credit: Justice Ink/instagram

 

10. I love it. It’s fun, well done with the shading and lines, just a neat little book lover’s tattoo.

Gea Masi
 

credit: Gea Masi/instagram

 

11. There are so many quotes as tattoos out there. SO MANY. The two most common I saw were lines from Sylvia Plath (I Am I Am) and Kurt Vonnegut (“Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt” and “So it goes”), but quotes made up probably 80% of the literary tattoos I found. I liked this one because there were no others from Dune and the Bene Gesserit litany.

tumblr nerdy tattoos
 

credit: nerdy-tattoos tumblr

 

12. There’s an entire tumblr (NSFW) devoted to Stephen King inspired tattoos and I thought about including this huge backpiece of all his book villains, but the Pennywise was so well done it was a trigger risk. So I went with this pretty rendering of the KA from Gunslinger.

fuckyeahstephenkingtattoos_tumblr
 

credit: fuckyeahstephenkingtattoos_tumblr

 

13. Any illustration from J.R. Tolkein is fantastic, but this map sleeve of his world is just awesome. I love the contrast of the red Smaug on top.

dwam_turbozerosalon_nantesFrance
 

credit: dwam_turbozerosalon_nantesFrance

 

14. Pauline Baynes’ illustrations and The Chronicles of Narnia are my favorite. Once I’ve settled on the one I want, my own tribute to C.S. Lewis will be going up on the nerdy tattoos tumblr. This one is nicely done.

bit.ly_1MYIPamlucky7tattoo_instagram by @weirdxbeard S Lake Tahoe CA
 

credit: lucky7tattoo_instagram by @weirdxbeard S. Lake Tahoe CA

 

15. I’ll end with my favorite quote from one of the best parts of my favorite C.S. Lewis.

alaskanamazon_instagram
 

credit: alaskanamazon/instagram

 

Turns out there is an entire website dedicated to book inspired tattoos: The Original Literary Tattoo Blog. Looks like it’s inactive as of 2014, but they left the archives up and it’s worth a look if you’d like.

 

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