Growing up, my mom always said that she would never allow my sister and me to have tattoos or piercings while we lived in her house. As we got older the rules relaxed a little and I was allowed to pierce my bellybutton when I was 15. At the age of 19, I was living back with my parents while waiting to ship off to boot camp and I decided that I REALLY wanted a tattoo. Being the respectful teenager that I was, I asked for permission (even though I legally didn’t need to) because it was her house and her rules. My mom got a little flustered and told me to ask my dad, who as it turns out was totally cool with the idea. That day I went out and got my very first tattoo (one of the only ones I have that I’d later come to regret). Ironically, the tattoo was grammatically incorrect and I didn’t even notice until several hours later. It would’ve been an easy fix, but I figured it would be a funny story later on so I left it alone. My mom didn’t speak to me for almost a week and finally gave in when my aunt made a comment about how well it turned out (inaccuracies aside). Much to my chagrin, my parents actually paid for my sister to get a tattoo for her 16th birthday that same year (my dad chose that over allowing her to get her tongue pierced).
Over the years I have managed to accumulate several more tattoos and even convinced my parents to each get one. My dad caught the fever and has been planning ideas for more of them ever since. The majority of my tattoos are words, generally in foreign languages since they look prettier, and most of them are related to books I have enjoyed. Recently it dawned on me that two of them are both from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. “Beati Bellicosi” is one of my favorites. It was the slogan for the Praetor Lupus and translates to “Blessed are the warriors” (according to the book). Since I served in the military, this one means a little more to me.
I also ran with the idea of Tris’s tattoo of the three birds in Divergent by Veronica Roth. I did three small ravens representing my family members. I loved the idea of using ravens because a group of them can be referred to as a “storytelling” (or a “murder”), which also reflected my love of books.
I have toyed with the ideas for other bookish tattoos over the years, but haven’t followed through on any of them yet. I’d love to get the phonetic spelling of “bibliophile” on the inside of my forearm using a typewriter font. My pièce de résistance would be a half sleeve collage of images inspired by books, but I haven’t been able to decide what my absolute favorites are and how they would piece together. Unfortunately, I have also put those plans on hold until I find a job that would allow visible tattoos.
Here are a couple websites with some awesome ink
Do you have any bookish tattoos? What books would inspire you to get one? What websites do you go to when you want to check out literary tattoos?