Bookish Ink – Hypothetical Ideas for Theoretical Tattoos (Brought to You By a 16 Year Old With Underdeveloped Decision Making Skills and An Extreme Fear of Needles)

I’ve always found the concept of tattoos fascinating. The idea that someone can decide to just… print something on their skin, knowing it’s going to stay there forever and ever is astonishing.

Of course, having considered getting a tattoo at some point in time, I always wonder what I’d get. Even if I somehow managed to overcome my extreme phobia of needles, I am such a bad decision maker that I’d probably end up dying before I made up my mind. I have decided though that if I were ever to get a tattoo, or even a few, they would most likely be book related. After I discovered Sir Douglas Adams’s brilliant mind, that idea changed to “most likely be Douglas Adams related.”

Now that we’ve covered that little intro I think I can begin with the actual point of this post, instead of just rambling on forever. I used to think if I ever got a tattoo it would be a quote, but recently the idea of images has appealed to me as well. Thing is, seeing as I am an avid book-to-film hater, many famous book icons or symbols come from their films. Also, I would want to get a tattoo that isn’t the biggest cliché ever, one that I won’t find on every single living being were I to attend a convention of some sorts discussing said book. These two criteria make it sort of hard to think up of ideas, but thankfully I have a creative mind and lots of time – infinite amounts actually, since this whole idea is hypothetical – so I can spend forever wondering how on Earth (and surrounding planets) I’ll achieve this goal!

There are only a handful of books I’ve ever read that I can definitely define as “life changers,” whatever that means. In most cases I can’t even explain why or how – which is why I’ll avoid reviewing these books, they are too important to me for that. I just… know. That’s it really. I can feel them. I know that makes no sense at all. I feel like they have become a part of my thought, whether I’m aware of their influence or not. The books I put in this category are Mysterious Skin by Scott Heim, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Series by Douglas Adams. I am not so sure whether Harry Potter deserves a place in that category or a whole unique category of his own called “My Childhood.” As for my favorite quote, the one I think describes me most from all of the sentences I’ve ever read, that award goes to Jodi Picoult in House Rules where she writes “Frankly, I wonder who Frank was, and why he has an adverb all to himself. I think I’ll keep this post focused on these novels because I really can’t cover all of the books I love and my ideas will multiply over time.

And now, for the ideas!

  • Frankly, I wonder who Frank was, and why he has an adverb all to himself.” This idea is a simple one – tattoo the quote. As for why I am even considering getting it etched into my skin forever? Well, I cannot for the life of me explain why I fell in love with it, but I did – from the moment I read the book. I do not know how it is that I forget so many profound, “life changing” quotes and yet this one is forever stuck in my brain. As for how it relates to my life I don’t really know. It was said by the autistic boy who I found to be an amazing character that sometimes reminded me of myself. It’s the kind of thought I have sometimes about other things. It’s such a… simple quote and yet it just sounds right. It’s such an unimportant subject and yet this kid, like me, takes time out of his day to give it some thought. He cares about the things no one notices and I am exactly the same. This quote, in a way, sums up who I am. I think. About everything. Important, unimportant, stupid, boring, interesting, deep and profound, shallow – it doesn’t matter. Everything and anything get a moment’s devotion in my mind and this quote, to me, conveys just that. If I remember correctly this quote was the first idea I had when I started considering the idea of tattoos.
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This one is harder because it’s been turned into a complete cliché and torn apart by every preteen in the world, especially after they turned it into a film. Let me just say that I cannot bring myself to watch said film. The sentence “and in that moment I swear we were infinite” has become so overused, along with the infinity symbol. I think I would have to read the book again before I could come up with some proper ideas, but one thing I am considering is getting the words “Dear friend,” – the words that begin each of Charlie’s letters, along with the comma, and in the exact book font.
  • Mysterious Skin. Again, a difficult one. I’d definitely have to reread the book. One thing that did stick with me from this novel is the ending, the very last sentence. “But it wasn’t and we weren’t.” Even out of context, I find this simple sentence so powerful. Again, forgive me for I cannot explain why. There’s something so… pure, so elegant about this simple sentence, the way it is formed. Also, being the last sentence gives it a sort of symbolizing status.
  • Harry Potter. Okay, so I’m pretty sure every single idea for a tattoo about Harry Potter has been done already, starting from the lightning bolt and JK Rowling’s signature all the way to someone I met who had the house animals tattooed on her – but not in the Potter form, just as simple animals, which made it harder to recognize. In this case, I think avoiding clichés will be next to impossible, so I might have to give up on that plan. I do like the idea of the Deathly Hallows. Yes, it is extremely obvious and very common; however in this case the image appeals to me. I like how the shapes connect, whether as a connection to the books or just as a stand-alone design. Another idea would be getting the very first sentence of the series tattooed, and maybe the very last alongside it, or somewhere else. This idea connects to another I had which was less book specific and more general-literature related, which would be to have a sleeve or just many tattoos of first and/or last sentences in novels. I’ve always thought the idea of getting the Dark Mark tattooed in its proper spot an entertaining one, and I haven’t ruled it out. The bolt could also look nice, as a very small, almost unnoticeable mark. Maybe not in color either. Another idea would be to tattoo the motto of Hogwarts “Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.” The phrase is in Latin and means “Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon.”
  • And now, we reach the Holy Grail of my existence – Your Royal Highness Sir Douglas Noel Adams. After putting them off for years due to what I call my “fear of Classics” (which I really should write a post about as well), I finally got around to reading these during the beginning of the fall last year, after buying them in a very well designed box set in Germany. I fell in love at first word and it’s been an addiction ever since. I haven’t found copies of Dirk Gently yet (don’t kill me) but I do buy anything that says Douglas Adams on it which is how I ended up reading Douglas Adams’s Starship Titanic, A Novel by Terry Jones this year. I’ve seen photos of people who have dedicated entire limbs to Adams and his brilliance, however I refuse to watch the film in this case as well and many of the images portrayed on said sleeve-bearers have lots to do with the film. I have also seen some great tattoos with the whale and the pot of petunias. I feel like in this case I must provide photos so that you can all be amazed by the beauty that these books have created.

(photos taken from Google Image Search and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Facebook Page)

I wouldn’t want to copy these but the sleeve is just amazing, in my opinion. The other tattoo pictured is also one of my favorite ideas, except without the “don’t panic” at the bottom. As I’ve said before, I’m starting to like the idea of image tattoos and not just words, so this pair would make for a great representation of the books. If I ever do get a tattoo, I will of course – as I’ve mentioned with the other books – reread the series and look for more tattoo ideas. I found a photo of someone who got the number 42 tattooed in binary, which is also wonderful because I actually taught myself how to use the binary system one day when I was bored and found a watch online that worked that way, or maybe just the number 42, perhaps written by someone important to me. I am also seriously considering getting the words “Don’t Panic” maybe in my own handwriting, or one of my parents’. I am so upset that Adams passed away before I discovered his writing, and I would’ve loved to get it tattooed in his writing. I’m sure I could find that sort of thing online, but it wouldn’t be the same. As for the phrase, I have extreme anxiety issues and I spend 96% of my time worrying about things so this phrase is extremely relevant to me as a person. This too of course represents the series in an obvious way. There’s also the mattress and the sofa, the towel and the Babel fish. I also really like the quote “We apologize for the inconvenience” but I’m not sure about that one regarding how it sounds when it’s put out of context.

So, I think it’s time to wrap up this post since it’s getting a teensy bit too long. Okay, way too long. Oh well. I HAVE TOO MANY IDEAS. The title is sort of… very long as well. Anyhow, chances are the minute I post this I’ll suddenly come up with a million more, but for now this is what I have.

No post is complete without the obligatory questions to YOU, eh? So, do any of y’all have tattoos? Do they symbolize people or times in your lives? Are they book inspired? Tell me, friends! And if you, like me, are still stuck in the theoretical part of things, what ideas do YOU have?

If you’ve made it this far, CONGRATULATIONS. Comment and lemme know what you think about this post and non-review posts in general, answer my questions, tell me STUFF.

Over and out.


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