Your Favorite Bookish Characters & Quotes Inked

Confession: I am too much of a chicken to get a tattoo.

I’ve always wanted a very small tattoo that was maybe a remembrance of my mother or one that was part of lyrics to a favorite song. However, I keep seeing on blogs and websites a surge in bookish tattoos. I’m talking about favorite characters, quotes, and other bibliophile-ish stuff. This is awesome to me. Maybe someday, if I grow a pair, I’ll get a bookish tattoo. What an interesting conversation piece!Anyways, I decided to google some of my favorite books and authors to see what tattoos came up.
On the Road/Jack Kerouac tattoos:

Jack Kerouac Tattoo the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’”

On The Road - Jack Kerouac tattoo

“the road is life”
The Bell Jar/Sylvia Plath:

Sylvia Plath Tattoo“…I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story…”
The Bell Jar tattoo“I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart: I am, I am, I am.”


I tried to find Franny and Zooey tattoos but could only find Catcher in the Rye.


JD Salinger Tattoo

“It’s history. It’s poetry.”
The Great Gatsby:

Great Gatsby tattoo

“so we beat onboats against the current borne back ceaselessly into the past”


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close:



Extremely Loud & Incredibly close tattoo

It says “Elephants don’t believe in ghosts”
Hunger Games
Mockingjay Hunger Games tattoo
I was disappointed with some of them because I thought I’d find more creative ones but I absolutely loved others. I was also just searching random books and found a TON of Twilight tattoos. Meh but of course nothing for Love in the Time of Cholera. I did find an amazing Matilda tattoo that I loved as well as an Alice in Wonderland one!!
Do you have any bookish tattoos? If not, let’s just say you were going to get one, what would it be?
I’m still thinking about mine. I’ll get back to you when I figure it out. In the meantime, go try and find some tattoos from your favorite books!


*ORIGINALLY POSTED 8/11/10 but got lost in the WP switch.
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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I don’t think I would ever get a real tattoo, but some of the ones you posted are very cool! I like the ones with the quotes and I suppose if I were going to get one, I would do a similar tribute. One of my favorite Twain quotes is “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” and I think “Explore, Dream, Discover” might make a cool tattoo. Either that or maybe something whimsical by Dr. Seuss.

  2. I desperately want a tattoo, but I am such a wimp!! I love the book related ones, I’ve often thought of doing an “Anklet” with a quote from a favorite book – maybe someday I’ll get hte nerve!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  3. I don’t have one yet, but I have had plans for a bookish tattoo for years. I think I am going to go ahead and get it for my birthday this summer.

    It is going to be on my right foot. It is going to say, “Muse-start from where you will, sing for our time too.” It is from The Odyssey (which is fitting, right?). I might get some wave detail behind it, but that’s the part I can’t decide. I’m not even sure the full text will fit, but I want the words more than anything else.

    I eventually want another on my left foot so they balance each other, but I am still mulling over which quote to fit there (One of the contenders is from LOTR-“Not all those who wander are lost.”)

  4. Kelsey @ The Lost Book Reports says:

    I always think of ideas of tattoos I would LOVE to get, but I have other things I can spend 200 dollars on, and then the idea of how permanent they are freaks me out.. even though I won’t regret the tattoo I choose, still that idea just creeps me out.

  5. I’m with you- I’d be way to chicken to EVER get a tattoo. Even if it had to do with books. I know John Green said that he’d met people with his quotes tattooed on them, which I think is so cool! And I do have a bunch of temporary Divergent tattoos. 😉 Fun post!

  6. I’m also way too chicken to get a tattoo. If it had to be bookish or something along those lines, I’d probably opt for something as simple as a quill – elegant but representative of being a reader and writer.

  7. You’re not alone, I’m too chicken to get a tattoo as well. Id I ever did, though, a book quote or image would be a great idea!

  8. Nadinax says:

    I love literary tattoos, I’m thinking on getting one myself, but my problem is my indecision. I really like those Sylvia Plath ones.

    Also this is a pretty cool blog for people with Foer tattoos

  9. I always follow the literary tattoos here:

    I don’t have a tattoo, but if I ever did get one it would have to be book related!

  10. Yes! I have this…

    NO way could I pick just ONE book to take a quote from. 🙂

  11. If I had the guts to do it, and a much higher threshold for pain, I would probably definitely consider getting a tattoo. I’d either TRY to find one quote I really loved or a symbol for Harry Potter, since that series is EVERYTHING to me.

  12. Here’s a Franny and Zooey one –×480.jpg

    I’m getting “It’s history. It’s poetry” soon. Catcher in the Rye changed my life.