Matilda-inspired tattoo on Emily Pullen, Assistant Book Buyer at The New York Public Library Shop
Tattoos offer an artistic way to pay homage to life’s passions. For the staff of the New York Public Library (NYPL), literature is their life—and they have the body art to prove it. A recent blog post on the NYPL website features a selection of staff members' tattoos that celebrate their favorite books, inspiring authors, and even now-defunct card catalogs. Each design is as different as their positions within the library.
The NYPL staff share the special meanings behind their book-inspired tattoos. Some honor their status as “book dork,” such as Emily Pullen, an Assistant Book Buyer at The New York Public Library Shop. Inking her Matilda body art cemented her status as a bibliophile. “Several years later [after getting the tattoo],” she says, “I wrote an essay about Matilda that helped me get into grad school for library science. Needless to say, she's been a source of inspiration for as long as I've known her.”
Scroll down to see some of these literary tattoos and the inspiration behind them. Want to get your own tattoo celebrating the written word? Check out some of our favorite book quote tattoos.
The staff of the New York Public Library shares some of their book-inspired tattoos and the meaning behind them.
A celebration to working 21 years (so far) at the NYPL on an NYPL Library Manager
Quote from a spoken word poem by Elizabeth Acevedo on Kaitlin Frick, Senior Children's Librarian at 53rd Street Library
Shel Silverstein-inspired tattoo based on two poems in his collection, “Where the Sidewalk Ends” on Katrina Ortega, Manager for College and Career Pathways
VFD symbol from Lemony Snicket's “A Series of Unfortunate Events” on Atticus Sutcliffe, Library Information Assistant and Teen Services at City Island Library
Stack of books on Sarah West, Children's Librarian at St. Agnes Library
Quote from “The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman” on Michelle Vacchio, Children's Librarian Trainee at Aguilar Library
Butterfly tattoo inspired by this Maya Angelou quote: “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” It is on an NYPL Library Information Assistant
Card catalog tattoo on Allie Affinito, Children's Librarian at Chatham Square Library
“Always” from Harry Potter on Katelynne Lawson, Children's Librarian Trainee at St. George Library Center
Quote from Markus Zusak's “The Book Thief” (film version) on Colleen Gibson, NYPL Social Media Associate