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29 Breathtaking Tattoos Inspired By Books

Wear your lit love on your sleeve.

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We asked the BuzzFeed Community to show us their literary tattoos. Here are some of the stories behind their beautiful, book-inspired ink:


"I grew up with Harry Potter. He was my hero and I spent a lot of time escaping with him and his friends." christopherd25


"My little/big reminder to do what makes you happiest in life and stay true to yourself. For me, that meant changing my major in college two years into one degree and challenging myself in ways I never thought possible. The Story of Ferdinand resonated with me during a time when I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, and this tattoo helped to remind me every day to make sure what I was doing was making me happy and allowing me to pursue my passions." Adriana Smith via Facebook



"I’m a kindergarten teacher whose absolute favorite book in life and to share with my kiddos is The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. The word 'unless' is what is left behind by the Lorax when he leaves the Once-ler. I got this tattoo in a place that I would see every day in order to remind me that 'unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not.' I want to always remember that I’m teaching for a reason — to make a difference and to make things better." sschag


"From Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi:

Words, I think, are such unpredictable creatures. No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever be more powerful than a sentence. Swords may cut and kill, but words will stab and stay, burying themselves in our bones to become corpses we carry into the future, all the time digging and failing to rip their skeletons from our flesh."



"Robin from The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. It’s a reminder that I made it through some tough times. :)" josiel3




"When my husband was deployed, my three year old son and I read Where the Wild Things Are every night before bed. It became a part of us, we would recite the book out loud together in random places, like the grocery store. I got a tattoo when my husband came back so that I would never forget the goofy things we did to find joy in every day." Debbie Brice via Facebook


"My tattoo says, 'L’essential est invisible pour les yeux,' which is French for 'the essential is invisible to the eyes.' It's from The Little Prince. The quote really stuck in my head and I wanted to have it in my skin so badly that I finally got it. It feels so good see it in the mirror every day." beatrizc46553b443


"From John Steinbeck’s East of Eden." hannahelisabethv



"This is my Harry Potter-inspired owl. There is a lightning bolt on its brow, it has green eyes, the 'branch' it's standing on is Harry's wand, and the (unfinished) flowers on either side are wolfsbane and asphodel, both of which are mentioned in the books!" Mariah Masell via Facebook


"Mine is a nod to Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman." purdymaryk



"My tattoo is from Ken Kesey’s Sometimes a Great Notion. Many of the metaphors and messages in that book are about not letting others take down your spirit, at almost all costs. The river and the house is one of those metaphors. The Stampers build their house close to the riverbank because they want to, even though everyone says they are crazy to. Instead of allowing the river to carry away their house with the crumbling riverbank, they build supports and attach it with cables. They don’t give in." katiek4ff0829f2



"My literary tattoo is of J. R. R. Tolkien's own ink drawing of Smaug the dragon, found in his book The Hobbit." emilyangelae


"I asked the artist, Myles Karr, to illustrate a passage from One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez:

A trickle of blood came out under the door, crossed the living room, went out into the street, continued on in a straight line across the uneven terraces, went down steps and climbed over curbs, passed along the Street of the Turks, turned a corner to the right and another to the left, made a right angle at the Buendía house, went in under the closed door, crossed through the parlor, hugging the walls so as not to stain the rugs, went on to the other living room, made a wide curve to avoid the dining-room table, went along the porch with the begonias, and passed without being seen under Amaranta’s chair as she gave an arithmetic lesson to Aureliano José, and went through the pantry and came out in the kitchen, where Úrsula was getting ready to crack thirty-six eggs to make bread.

'Holy Mother of God!' Úrsula shouted.



"The green light from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald." cristinan4f2d2ff82


"My dad was a great lover of Tolkien, and he died in a car crash when I was a kid. This poem was read at his funeral. I got this tattoo as a reminder that the road does indeed go on, and life can still be good even after losing someone you love. Also as a testament of hope, that wherever my dad is now, he is on an amazing journey." conniepetram



"My eldest sister encouraged me to read so many different things when I was growing up, but my favorite books she bought me were Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic. She passed away suddenly when I was 13, so when I got a little older and started thinking about tattoos I might want, this was one of the first to come to mind." lizp44a5c6537


"The tree from the original cover of To Kill a Mockingbird. When I first read the book in high school I said if I ever had a boy, I was naming him Atticus. I had a boy four years ago and got this tree for him!" Brandice Robinson via Facebook


"My kind, personal reminder to traverse life with courage and compassion. Thanks, C. S. Lewis." aliciaroser



"One of the original drawings from one of my favorite books growing up, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. My mom also loved the book growing up, and named me after Alice (Alysia is a variant of the name)." alysiab45ce950d2


"Books are my alternative lives." hollytysonn


"My Animorphs tattoo. Those books and this character are why I started writing stories of my own when I was a kid." Katelynn Dey via Facebook




"From The Silent Blade: The Legend of Drizzt. This quote captures and reflects my own struggles to escape the religious dogma and indoctrination I went through as a child. Just as Drizzt found in his heart that all the tenets enforced by his family were not true to his heart, I too found that my environment did not reflect my being within and I had to struggle, alone, against vile thoughts and endless rebuke, to transform and accept that my heart was true and that it mattered not what the world around me thought." hannahp0809


"I have the quote 'and the rest is rust and stardust' from Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. It’s my favorite book of all time, and it’s really unique. I haven’t seen anyone else with it ever. For me it means new beginnings and the past is the past." Taylor Perry


"When I first read A Game of Thrones, it changed my whole life. It taught to be strong, to forgive myself, and to always go on, no matter what. The Starks have given me all kinds of lessons, so to give a little place on my body for all they have given to me seemed logical." Meg Darlig via Facebook

Do you have a book-inspired tattoo? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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