5 Subtle Literary Tattoo Ideas


Everyone has a favorite book even if you fell off the reading rainbow as you got older, everyone has one. Whether it’s a book from your childhood that you never forgot, or if it’s a book that particularly touched you and made somewhat of an impact on your life, we all have one. With that being said, what better way to acknowledge your favorite book then by adding a subtle literary tattoo? We’ve seen some impressive ones over the years, and it’s really a tip of the hat to those tattoo clients who let their creativity shine through their odes to their favorite books.

  1. The Great Gatsby


    Who doesn’t love the Great Gatsby? Whether you saw the movie with the one and only Leonardo DiCaprio, or if you’re a fan of the book, it’s a hit. With the overall theme that during the time America was being commercialized, a man was measured by the amount of money he had, not what moral values he may have carried with him, pretty dark huh? Well, either way, we came across a tattoo that was an ode to the “Eyes of God,” within the book that were really just a billboard for an optometrist, but they symbolized a pair of eyes looking down on those who abandoned any moral values in the pursuit of material possessions, and it’s pretty legit.

  2. Peter Pan


    Ah, the classic tale of Peter Pan – this book had children never wanting to grow up and adults wanting to be children again, even if only just for a day. It’s important when you grow up that you don’t lose sight of your imagination and you maintain a little bit of your childhood and let that inner child come out every once and a while. One of the most popular tattoo shout outs to Peter Pan is the children flying to Neverland. This is a great tattoo idea if you want it to be subtle, because it can be easily hidden.

  3. Harry Potter


    Adults and children alike were touched by the Harry Potter series and we’ve been asked to do dozens of Harry Potter tattoos. Whether it’s Harry’s glasses, the lightning bolt, a symbol for one of the houses, or the platform 9 and 3/4, we’ve seen them all. And we get it. Harry Potter, both books and movies was insanely popular and it taught kids and adults to be more accepting of others to epic proportions. Oh, and it also taught people to be themselves because that’s the easiest way to get through life.

  4. Where the Wild Things Are


    Let the wild rumpus start! Where the Wild Things are is probably one of the greatest books and goes along with the theme of Peter Pan. There’s a wild thing in all of us, and children let that wild alter ego be expressed through their imagination – something we lose as we grow older. The Wild Things taught us to be ourselves, that everyone goes through dark times (even as children), and to not judge someone based on their appearance. So, who wouldn’t want to look down on a tattoo that reminds them of all those lessons?

  5. Alice in Wonderland


    Regardless of what your favorite version of Alice in Wonderland is, a majority of the tattoos we see are from either the original cartoon movie, or the adaptation by Tim Burton with Johnny Depp. So, if Alice in Wonderland taught you to grow and change rather than cling to your past-self, or to not be afraid to be a little crazy and think outside the box, why not do that by getting a new tattoo of your favorite book?