13 Literary Tattoos That Resonate Over Time

When it comes to picking out a tattoo, the decision can be nerve wracking. After all, it's going to be on your body forever. Personally, whenever I think of getting another tattoo (to join my very lonely, singular back tattoo), I always turn to literature to get inspired. Partially because I'm a total bibliophile, partially because there are so many literary tattoos that resonate over time. Because so much of literature is absolutely timeless, it's only natural that quotations, inspirations, and nods to literature would be timeless too, right?

Regardless of your taste in literature, there are plenty of tattoos in the universe to provide inspiration for your next tattoo — especially one that will stand the test of time, that you'll love from now to eternity. It can be overwhelming to sift through your favorite novels in order to find that perfect moment to immortalize on your body, but the following 13 literary tattoos that you'll love forever will certainly help you find inspiration. In fact, I think my next tattoo may very well be in this bunch of literary-inspired tattoos. From famous quotes, to inspired illustrations and everything in between, read on to discover your next potential literary tattoo.


For Bibliophiles Everywhere

For the reader who never tires of books and would rather dedicate a piece of ink to the idea of literature on the whole instead of a singular piece of literature, this open book tattoo is perfect.


For A Mind Over Matter Reminder

This tattoo from Dune is perfect for anyone who needs a reminder that fear is what really gets you in the end. Timeless, courageous, and simple, this tattoo will last the years with you.

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For Those In Need Of Daily Wisdom

You can find this line of the serenity prayer on the ribcage of professional soccer player, Corben Bone. This ink is simple, beautiful, and completely timeless, because wisdom is something you'll always be striving for.


For A Reminder To Keep Calm

As a tribute to the whimsical, classic novel, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, this tattoo perfectly illustrates this passage:

"And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more."

And for those of you who haven't read, XLII = 42, the answer to the ultimate question of life, according to The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

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For The Love Of Poetry

If ever there was an image that summed up my childhood, it would be this. Shel Silverstein's poetry anthologies were an every day part of growing up. And this little figure clutching a book? Well, it symbolizes a whole lot.

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For The Power Of Words

This quote from Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Prince is one that will resonate with writers, readers, and lovers of words across the board.

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For Sylvia Plath Lovers

From The Bell Jar, this tattoo honors the quote, “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”

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For 'A Wrinkle In Time' Fans

This is a book that will always stick with me. It's one of the first full-length novels I remember reading on my own and one that I have never been able to give up. This tattoo brings together the first and last lines of the novel, as well as a classic illustration from the book. For fans of Madeleine L'Engle, this tattoo will never grow old.

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For Aslan And For Narnia

Spoken from Aslan to Lucy in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, this tattoo is one that is a poignant reminder that sometimes in the darkest times, all it takes is a little bit of courage to make it through.

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For The Wistful Potter Nerds

A pair of patronus tattoos for you and your love, because the meaning behind them is timeless Harry Potter fans will melt when they see this ink.

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For The Vonnegut Fans

This repeated refrain from Kurt Vonnegut's classic Slaughterhouse Five is easily adaptable into a daily mantra, especially when you've got it inked somewhere you can see. The familiar words seem to neatly encompass an entire way of life, making it poignant and timeless all at the same time.

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For The Fierce Classics

There's nothing like a little Shakespeare to give you courage. This quote, a favorite of petite women everywhere, is a distinct reminder that size does not measure courage, ability, or intensity.

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For A Reminder To Live In The Present

Make every moment your sweetest moment by channeling this quote from Colleen Hoover's series, Slammed.

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