For The Love Of Literature

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Anybody who knows me also knows my love of books.  I am an avid reader and recently made the leap to ebooks when I got an iPad. This has been a tough transition for me because it means I have to forego browsing the shelves of my local bookstore, I lose the pleasure of skimming new titles,  and no longer know the joy of the impulse purchase.  I know this can all be done on my iPad but somehow looking at books on a computer screen isn’t as visceral as running your fingers through the pages of a book.

With that said, I ran across this book that expresses the written word through body art.  I love books and while there are certain books and authors I return to time and time again I don’t have a literary tattoo; but I am intrigued by the idea.  One of my favorite literary quotations is “Live all you can; it’s a mistake not to. It doesn’t so much matter what you do in particular so long as you have your life. If you haven’t had that what have you had? Live, live!”, by Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita In Tehran.  Though I don’t think I’ll get this tattooed on me anytime soon I can understand the desire to create a permanent reminder of something that embodies your personal belief system.

This leads me to wonder how authors feel about their words inspiring an enduring homage of sorts.  How would you feel if someone immortalized your words on their body?  What literary image or quotation speaks to you?  Do you have a tattoo (literary or not) that holds a special meaning for you?

I’m attaching some of the photos of body art that I came across in my search, more photos and information can be found here.


Anyone who has read Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy will immediately understand the literary reference of “Don’t Panic” and “42”.

This is an image of The Little Prince from Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  I loved this book growing up and read it in it’s original French in high school.

This is an image from Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland.  “The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in managing her flamingo.”

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2 responses »

  1. Wow, those are some amazing tattoos!

    I have six tattoos, but sadly, none are as meaningful or artful as these.

    My family has been making the transition to ebooks in the last year. It’s a little sad for me, the last hold out, because I love seeing books lined on the shelf. It makes me feel…rich, ya know what I mean? Books are a great source of joy and comfort for me.

  2. I know! I have a tattoo also. It’s not literary,however it holds special meaning for me from my time living in Namibia. I really like it but I think something would have to be really special for me to get another one.

    I actually just broke down and went to Barnes and Noble and bought a paperback on sale. I kept telling myself I should go online and buy it but I couldn’t resist. I love seeing my books lined up on the bookshelf; it reminds me there’s some order in my life. And if you’re rich in books then I think that’s the best kind of rich you can be!

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