January 12, 2010

To Or Not Tattoo...

I have always been interested in and intrigued by tattoos. I have friends and some family members who have decorated themselves and although I have always had thoughts of getting one myself I have never actually taken the plunge (I think my deep seated fear of pain is playing a big part in this decision!).
Coming across this article yesterday made me think of tattoos again. I had never actually thought of combining my love of books and literature into body art before but I think it is a beautiful idea.
Does anyone have a tattoo that is linked to a favourite book or author? If you were going to get a literary tattoo what would you choose?
I would have to go with something Jane Austen related I feel - and a quote or sentiment from my favourite Austen, Persuasion, would be ideal. I love the words from Captain Wentworth telling Anne, "You pierce my soul" or even a line from Anne herself when she makes sure that Frederick is sure of her feelings this time when she tells him, "I am quite determined".
A nice idea but I think the fear of pain will win out in the end!

19 comments:

Amanda said...

Thanks for sharing the article. I actually have text from a video game (American McGee's Alice which is based on Alice in Wonderland) on my forearm, and am considering my next to be a quote from a favorite book. I love the look of text as a tattoo and imagine a number of my tattoos will end up being literary in some way.

My current text says "Only a few find the way; some don't recognize it when they do; some don't ever want to."

the_young_dude said...

Do it! And document it.. I had one done in june, non literature-related, and I have had a great experience with it (so far!). The trick is to find a great artist and go for it..

savidgereads said...

I am thinking of getting my first ever tattoo this year too. I would say go for it but I do think do it somewhere that is subtle. I am getting one on the top of my back, that way its hidden but I know its there.

Dot said...

I think you should do it! I have a massive phobia of needles otherwise I think I would probably have one!

Nadia said...

I say go for it and get one! I agree with Simon and would suggest getting it in an area that you easily cover it. I had never thought of getting a tattoo with anything bookish, but now that you mentioned it, the idea is quite intriguing. Hmmm. I have no idea what I would get. A quote? or a book? I already have a tattoo of the symbol for strength on my right shoulder blade and have thought of getting another one. I too hate needles and pain, but truth be told, it did not hurt as much as I had imagined. In fact after awhile I didn't even feel anything. Of course it depends where you get it. Also, the friend I went to get mine with has about 8 of them now - she got addicted. So beware, that it may become addicting. :) Good luck with deciding a tattoo!!

Jules said...

I always wanted to do it too, but never did! Not afraid of pain... I fear I won't like it anymore at 80 years old (if I'm still there!!) :o)

Darlene said...

A quote from Austen would be lovely and it's quite safe to say that she'll never be out of favour. Would I do it? My OCD self ponders...what if it wasn't straight?! There's not enough medication to get me through that:)

jspeyton said...

I have a tatoo, but unfortunately it's not bookish. I didn't think of that until after I'd gotten it. Mine is momento of my year in Japan with a slight nod to samurai warriors.

I would like to get another tattoo, though. THAT one would definitely be bookish. I'd like to get the quote "Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt," which is from Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five," maybe my favorite book of all time.

www.whosabiblioaddict.com

jspeyton said...

P.S. I meant to add, I say, "Go for it!" Of course, you have to post pictures once you have. ;)

softdrink said...

My mom and my brother both have tattoos (a butterfly and a cross), I'm the lone holdout in my family. I've never found an image I love enough (even a book) to want permanently inked on my body!

I once saw a website that was devoted to literary tattoos...unfortunately, I don't remember the name!

Karen said...

Hi Amanda - that sounds like a gorgeous tattoo. It sounds like you have the tattoo bug now?

Hi the_young_dude - I think that might be my problem - I think I would want to have an amazing connection with the person who was going to permanently decorate my body before I could let them do it!

Hi Simon - The location has always been something I have worried about with a tattoo. I think these days they are much more accepted within workplaces etc... though. I hope you get your this year!

Hi Dot - I don't have a problem with needles but then again I have never had one constantly jabbing at my skin over and over so that might change my mind!

Hi Nadia - thanks so much for your thoughts! My brother is someone who is quite addicted he has 5 tattoos that I know about but he is always planning another.

Hi Jules - that is a concern of mine too!

Hi Darlene - I hadn't even thought of my OCD personality type and the issues it would have with this!!!!

Hi jspeyton - your tattoo sounds wonderful - Japan is a country I strongly connected with too even though I have only visited briefly.

Hi softdrink - That's something I think about too - I change my mind so often about other things in my life that maybe a permanent body marking is not a good idea? Although having said that I know that I will never change my mind about books and they will always play a huge role in my life.

Iliana said...

Here where we live I feel like I'm one of the few people without a tattoo! ha. I think they are cool but I just don't know that I'd want something that permanent ever. Plus, the pain issue :)

Karen said...

Hi Iliana - yes, those are tow of things stopping me too.

antipodeanowl said...

Do it !!

I have several tattoo's (though not literary related)and love them. In my experience they don't hurt anywhere near as much as you think will and any reservation you have about their permanency are quickly forgotten the first time you see the finished work and think this beautiful piece of art is mine to keep!

Though I would strongly emphasise the need to find a good artist.(I can recommend some good ones in Sydney if you decide to do it :)).

BTW the literary tattoo site is: http://www.contrariwise.org/ You will be inspired!!

Karen said...

Hi antipodeanowl - thanks so much for the link to that site - it is inspiring, although I found it kind of funny that so many people had the same or a similar tattoo! I'm seriously considering the whole tattoo thing at the moment...

Becky said...

Do it - just be sure.
I got a tattoo when I was only 20 and I still love it. It's a sagittarius symbol (im a sag) - I chose it because i knew that it was something about me I placed some store in (how daggy is that!) and something that i knew wouldn't change.
I also got it on my lower back which is covered a lot of the time which means that I love it and I know its there, but it doesnt have to be on display all the time.
I have to admit, that getting a quote from a book or something book related sounds like an amazing idea. I haven't ever felt like I want ed a second tattoo, but now I think that if i ever got another it would have to be book related!

Karen said...

Hi Becky - thanks so much for your comment. I'm a Sag too! I think that would be a great tattoo to have.

Paperback Reader said...

I've been considering writing a post along these lines for some time, Karen! I have a few tattoos and would love a literary one but can't decide what... until I find something perfect, the ink will not meet the flesh.

Karen said...

Hi Claire - I know what you mean! I spent time over the weekend talking to my partner about this and designing my tatto but I couldn't come up with anything final!