5 Literary Scenes to Inspire Your Next Tattoo

Don't tell my mom, but I've become a little obsessed with tattoos lately. It fascinates me to learn about a person's tattoo and the story surrounding it. I love the idea of combining your personality with your physique, turning your body into a piece of art.

Books and tattoos make a natural partnership. Some of the most important things are said in the most lovely ways through books. In both literature and tattoos, symbolism and imagination are king. Words and images both come together to convey a profound message.

A good friend of mine thinks of her tattoos as chronicles of who she was when she got them. I'm enthralled with this idea. If you combine it with the concept of literary tattoos, you can think of your body art as a visual library of who you are.

Of course, a tattoo is an extremely personal thing. When making the decision about what you want to be a part of body, take the time to look back on all the books you have loved. Remember all the moments that made you gasp and scream and throw the book at the wall with joy. Think of characters who were as much a part of you as oxygen. These are just a few ideas of literary moments that would be great tattoos. However, the importance and the beauty comes from the connection you personally had with the book.

1. The Green Light in The Great Gatsby

Arguably one of the most recognized symbols in American literature, this tattoo could easily be beautiful (especially if you use a nice green color). It's the universal symbol of hope, of longing, and of the desires that are just out of our grasp.

2. Daenerys Emerging with Her Dragons in A Song of Ice and Fire

Especially in the books, Daenerys' journey is freaking amazing. Throughout her marriage to Khal Drogo, she has an empowering transformation. At the height of it, and with fierce symbolism, is the moment when she emerges from the fire, unharmed, with her three baby dragons. In tattoo-form, this image would be the definition of bravery and badassery.

3. A Hole from Holes

Five feet deep and five feet wide, the length of your shovel. Simple but poignant, you could get creative on how to artistically render this — perhaps show the shovel, the lipstick tube, or the treasure? But either way, the character-building exercise in the Louis Sachar classic is the perfect symbol for a trial you've come out of and the magic that continues to propel the world around us.

4. Holden and Phoebe at the Carousel in The Catcher in the Rye

Everyone has an inner Holden Caulfield thundering around inside of them, worried about where the ducks go in winter. This moment at the carousel with Phoebe, when he realizes that she needs to take the brass ring for herself, is a deeply symbolic moment of almost-acceptance. This tattoo could be intricate and beautiful with detailed animals, or it could be designed with more of a simple grace.

5. Richard Parker at the Helm of the Boat in The Life of Pi

The moment when Pi realizes there is a tiger on the boat with him is gut-wrenching. But along with Pi, Richard Parker's presence is a valuable lesson in balance as well as the relationship between humans and nature. This is such a frighteningly beautiful image, and it would be eye-catching no matter where you got it inked.

Images: Tim Gouw/Unsplash; Giphy (4), Andrea Schaffer/Flickr