Literary Tattoos

Have you ever wanted a tattoo? Do you have one? The idea has never appealed to me (the scars on my arm attract enough attention, thank you) but after reading about some literary tattoos, and seeing some photos, I have to admit my interest is piqued. I don’t think I’ll run out and get one–but I like thinking about it.

It’s a neat idea to me–that you can put a few lines or an image from a book that really touched you, a book that has stayed with you for years or that will, on your skin, as a constant reminder of whatever it meant for you. I can see the appeal. (Though you can create a similar effect by putting up a sign or image on your wall, your mirror, etc.)

Among the literary tattoos at Literary Tattoos For People Who Love Books hub page, I found these tattoos from children’s books:






The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein







The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery


There was also Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Illustrations from The Velveteen Rabbit also seem to be popular.

If you had a literary tattoo, what book would it be from? Mine would be from When Pigs Fly by Emily Rodda, one of my all-time favorite middle-grade fantasies. Or perhaps The Forgotten Door by Alexander Key. Or an illustration from David Wieser’s Tuesday. Or…oh, there are so many favorites to choose from!

Thanks to The Guardian blog for the link.


9 Responses to “Literary Tattoos”

  1. Jo Treggiari Says:

    I already have a few tattoos from my desperate youth and I fell so in love with my first book cover (by artist Alisa Baldwin) that I did briefly consider getting it inked onto my back. I eventually decided to stick with my Edward Gorey theme. Less specific. Less narcissistic.
    However, being the mother of a six-year old I have recently been thinking of ‘Feltus Ovalton’ temporary tattoos for the younger set.

  2. Cheryl Says:

    Neat that you have book-related tattoos, Jo.

  3. ozzy perez Says:

    i got this ratoo. it is the the chapter image for the second to last chapter of harry potter and the goblet of fire (the parting of the ways) i have wanted this tatoo ever since i read the series. it has significant value to me and i do not regret getting it.

  4. Sarah Says:

    I have one literary tattoo on my left shoulder with the name of the main character from Ayn Rand’s Anthem-Equality 7-2521. Unfortunately, because Ayn Rand doesn’t seem to be read by many people these days (which is sad), nobody ever understands it. That book had such an intense impact on me, as did Atlas Shrugged, that I don’t mind that nobody understands it. I’ve considered getting the cover art from Atlas Shrugged as a tattoo as well, but haven’t made up my mind yet. I already have 4 and I’m not sure where it should go haha.

  5. Cheryl Rainfield Says:

    Thanks for sharing, Ozzy, Sarah. It’s so neat you have book-related tattoos!

    Sarah, I’m glad the Ayn Rand tattoo still feels good to you even if noone seems to get the significance. The important thing is how it makes you feel, right?

  6. Krystel Says:

    The Little Prince back work is mine. I started it in my younger, dumber days so I’m now looking at ways to cover it up and do a full panel that is more cohesive and better represents the book’s meaning.

  7. Logan Says:

    I have a little prince tattoo on my back – it was my first tattoo (I was 18). I read the book in high school and fell in love with it, and Antoine de Saint-Exupery. This book meant a lot to me at the time because it was about not growing old in your mind, and staying young at heart. It’s ironic now, as I’ve grown up I’ve acquired my pilot’s license, and I work for a travel company which allows me to frequently visit Africa! Never thought I’d have so much in common with the author. :)

  8. Cheryl Rainfield Says:

    Krystel, thanks for letting me know!

    Logan, I’m glad you got so much good out of the book! I really like that message, too; I think it’s important. Staying young in your heart.

  9. Gallery of Elaborate Literary Tattoos - GalleyCat Says:

    [...] On the children’s side, fans are most likely to ink in a Shel Silverstein illustration like the image embedded on the side. (Photo Source: Cheryl Rainfield) [...]

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