18 Ephemeral Tattoos For Booklovers


We all love a good literary tattoo, the ultimate outward expression of someone’s love for the written word. It’s fascinating to see which quotes have spoken so deeply to people that they’ve had them indelibly printed on their own skin. And let’s be honest -- who thought book nerds could be so edgy?

Not all of us bookworms, however, possess the level of decisiveness needed to join our lives with one literary tattoo for life. The more commitment-phobic among us need not despair -- we can still wear our bookishness as a sleeve if we wish.

Here are 18 gorgeous temporary tattoos that will -- for a couple days, at least -- show everyone how much you love reading:

"It matters not how strait the gate, / How charged with punishments the scroll" -- there aren't many quotes from literature more inspiring than this snippet from a William Ernest Henley poem. (Via Etsy.)
How To
If you frequently forget how to manage an old-fashioned paper book, this how-to tat may be a useful aid. (Via Etsy.)
Book Lover
If only we could all carry as many books at once as this adorable book-loving giraffe. (Via Tattly.)
All That Is Gold
A splendidly bracing line from a poem-within-a-book: specifically, a poem from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Wear it when you're ready to embrace some lack of direction in your life. (Via Etsy.)
Alice in Wonderland
Is that a classic children's book illustration peering over your shoulder? (Via Etsy.)
Sherlock Holmes
Never forget where to find Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Watson. 221B Baker Street, that is. (Via Etsy.)
Sleep Less
In a perfect world, we'd have plenty of time for both sleeping and reading. But if we have to choose... (Via Etsy.)
Are you a budding author? Brand yourself accordingly. (Via Tattly.)
Marauder's Map
Showcase your love of Harry Potter AND pranking, though the visible nature of these tattoos might suggest you don't have the proper commitment to secrecy. (Via Etsy.)
"We're All Mad Here"
A rave-appropriate sentiment from the pages of Alice in Wonderland -- slap it on and go party! (Via Etsy.)
'Game of Thrones' Stark Crest
Show your allegiance to the Stark clan and watch other Game of Thrones fans take notice. (Via Etsy.)
Helvetica Ampersand
A humble symbol in a clean, beautiful font. (Via Etsy.)
e.e. cummings
So darn romantic. (Via Etsy.)
Peter Pan: "You Can Fly"
Even while you're stuck in the real world, send a little part of yourself to "the Never Never Land." (Via Etsy.)
Dark Mark
Only sport this temporary tattoo if you're willing to endure many dirty looks from Gryffindor fans. (Via Etsy.)
Promises To Keep
Power through a long day with the aid of Robert Frost! (Via Etsy.)
The Fault In Our Stars
And of course, it wouldn't be a proper literary listicle without an entry from the inimitable John Green. (Via Etsy.)
Bookworm Set
Don't want to pick just one temporary tattoo? Spring for a whole bunch at once! (Via Etsy.)

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to the poem "All That Is Gold" from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy as an Elvish poem. The post has been updated to correct this.

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