Ten lyrical and lovely literary tattoos

in Potpourri by

You have to really love something to get it tattooed on your body. And I mean really love something — once it’s in your skin, that ink isn’t going anywhere. Even if you get it removed, there will always be a scar.

Because of their permanence, tattoos can be a scary endeavor. But I can’t think of anything more worthy of permanent ink than something from my favorite novel. Certain books and quotes stay with you for a lifetime—so why not wear them forever on your skin?

Luckily, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Here are ten literary tattoos that inspire us (or maybe just fill us with extreme tattoo-envy):

 

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

 

Where The Side Walk Ends

Where the Sidewalk Ends is one of those rare books that pretty much everyone on earth remembers fondly. I love the image too—the kids peeking over the edge of your arm, the dog scrambling to stay up. Cute and powerful.

 

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

 

Boxcar Children

There are few things I love more than The Boxcar Children series—especially the first book where the kids are living on their own, trying to buy butter, making soup out of baby onions, and swimming in the river. It must be a fantasy of every child to ditch their parents and try to make a go of it in the woods, which makes this the perfect nostalgic tattoo.

 

Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Clearly

Ramona
Speaking of nostalgia, how awesome is this Ramona tattoo? The stark black and white image definitely captures Ramona’s feisty spirit.

 

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Where The Wild Things Are
Where the Wild Things Are tattoos are extremely popular, and this is one of the best—not too crowded, colorful and memorable.

 

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Alice In Wonderland

I love it when a tattoo is unique and interpretive, like this text creating the silhouette of the white rabbit. Here’s the quote inside: “I could tell you my adventures beginning from this morning, but it’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

 

Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughter House Five
Sometimes simpler is best, and this text-tattoo inspired by Vonnegut is lovely and sparse.

 

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Peter Pan
It’s all the kids flying behind her ear! Simple and awesome. I might have to copy this one…

 

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter Platform Number
Love this subtle nod to Platform 9 ¾ from Harry Potter.

 

The Catcher in the Rye by Salinger

Catcher In The Rye
There are times when a book cover is just as iconic as the book itself, like this classic image from The Catcher in the Rye. It helps that the tattoo is so well done—the colors are spot-on, and the artistry is awesome.

 

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The Lion The WItch and the Wardrobe
What a perfect way to pay tribute to one of the best fantasy series every written—with a detailed lamppost scene, marking the entrance to Narnia. The subtle use of color is great here too!

 

Do any of these literary tattoos inspire you to get your own? Or maybe you already have one? Let us know in the comments!

Rachel Carter grew up surrounded by trees and snow and mountains. She graduated from the University of Vermont and Columbia University, where she received her MFA in nonfiction writing. She is the author of the So Close to You series with Harperteen. These days you can find her working on her next novel in the woods of Vermont.

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