Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tattoo Tuesday : For The Love of Books :

Hello! I'm Katie from Hems for Her and I am so excited to be here sharing one of my favorite tattoos with you today.

I got my first tattoo on a whim the month I turned 18. I was young; I was bored. My best friend was visiting my college town and bemoaning the lack of fun activities accessible to students under 21, and I suddenly blurted out, "Let's go get tattoos!" I had never thought about getting a tattoo, not once. I walked into the shop, picked the first piece of flash that appealed to me (so embarrassing now!), and an hour later I walked out with my first tattoo- a small cat face on my lower back. This was a few years before the term "tramp stamp" became popular, and for the most part I was oblivious to it for years.

Not the tattoo I'm talking about today, but
I felt really weird just showing you my back, you know?

Every once in a while I would be reminded of the tattoo, and throughout the years I've added four other tattoos (no flash, I promise),but the first one mostly lain forgotten. I ignored the occasional teasing about my crazy, college tramp stamp, but for my 30th birthday, I decided to get it covered. I am an English teacher, so I knew I wanted to get something that incorporated my love of reading and books. I am also obsessed with birds and owls- I actually have another bird tattoo, but that's for another Tattoo Tuesday- so I knew I wanted to include one of those as well. I came to my tattoo artist and said I wanted a stack of books and an owl with lots of colors. All of my tattoos are small and mostly black ink. I knew this one would be big, so I wanted it to be bright as well.

I knew I wanted to include titles on the books as well, and I love that I have a few blank books to add to later. It was tough to choose "favorites", especially since I had to choose from books with very short titles, but I knew I had to include Daphne Du Maurier's gothic classic Rebecca. I read it for the first time in 9th grade, and I have reread it at least ten times since then. It's part ghost story, part love story and has remained over the past 15 years as one of my favorite books.  One day I plan to get the first line of Rebecca tattooed on me, but for now, this will have to suffice.

I also knew I had to include my favorite Stephen King novel The Stand. I read it for the first time in high school as well and it remains one of the most gut-wrenching reading experiences of my life. I read the unabridged version, over 1,000 pages, and I remember sobbing through the last 200-300 pages because I knew it would be over eventually- that I would inevitably finish it.

Finally I included Thornton Wilder's play "Our Town" as well. It was also a throw back from my high school English classes, but the year before I got the tattoo I had played Mrs. Webber in a stage production of the play and it was such a life changing experience that I knew I wanted to commemorate it in the flesh.

Tattoos are such a personal thing. Not only is this one hidden on my back, only seen by my husband and massage therapist, but the stories within it are so personal and private that it can be hard, and time-consuming, to explain. There is nothing better than a good book, and as a teacher I try to instill a love of reading in my students. It truly is a passion of mine, and that's why I think I love this tattoo so much. Thank you, Lena, for letting me share! 

Lena B, Actually

Thank you Katie for sharing this awesome tattoo with us today!! I love the reason behind it!  I have to admit, I've never read Rebecca... but I definitely have to now!!

If you want to be a part of Tattoo Tuesday, just message me! I love featuring you & the stories behind your ink!

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  1. Oh my gosh!!!! I love the Owl!!!!! It's amazing, I love the meaning behind it and covering it. I've only read Rebecca & Our Town. I definitely will check out The Stand.

    Checking out your blog now!♥

  2. I love the story behind it! Pretty cool!

  3. Kate, your tattoo looks great! The artist did a wonderful job! I have 3 tattoos myself and I only regret 1. The other two have very special meanings to me. I'd love to get maybe 2 more :)

  4. I'd love to be part of Tattoo Tuesday! :) whimsicalmumblings(at)ymail(dot)com
    www.whimsicalmumblings.blogspot.co.uk xxx

  5. Wow. Your tat looks amazing. I love reading and a book tattoo would be great. I have yet to read many of the classic, but I am going to try!

  6. Katie, I loved this guest post! I'm always so fascinated by hearing the stories of others' tattoos. I'm planning to get another one soon(ish) and can't wait!

  7. wow, that is covered? so pretty

  8. i love those kinds of memory recalls...the older you get the cooler they are! whatevs to the tramp stamp stigma, i don't really buy into that Katie...there's certain points in life when you gotta take the moments in full force and lawd knows 18 is the time to do so :) although, i gotta say, your new installation is really darling. i love owls too, they are so awesome and since you're teaching English..what better than a few books for him to perch on. radness indeed!

    i have a few tats and even though i'd perhaps do things differently today they maintain their specialness in my heart for a time when so many other things occupied my mind. it's interesting to see what other folks have experienced, thanks for sharing! ♥

  9. I love the tattoo and the story behind it! I am curious to see what it looked like before, because you can't tell it's a cover up!

  10. Love this! I've had The Stand at home borrowed for about two years now. I keep putting off reading it because it's so massive! But if it's that awesome I might have to give it a shot.
    LOVE your Tattoo Tuesdays!

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