10 Bookish Costume Ideas

Dressing up for Halloween this year? I don’t know about you, but I think literary characters are some of the most fun costumes. Why? Because while a lot of people may be unable to recognize you, those that do are instantly identified as your kindred spirit and therefore your new best friend (like when you’re at the store and you see someone with a Deathly Hallows symbol tattoo and you compliment them on in and you become Instant besties). Anyway, I’ve scoured the internet for what I think are some of the coolest bookish costumes. Enjoy!

1. The Six of Crows duology

When Crooked Kingdom came out last month, these images (illustrated by Kevin Wada) were released on some of the cool fandom merch. This basically means the publisher is endorsing these images as HELLA LEGIT. So now that we have a good idea of what these characters look like, we can all dress up like them, right?

2. Celaena from the Throne of Glass series

Molly (from Molly’s Book Nook) gave this awesome suggestion. I did a google image search, and found PROOF that you should dress of as Celaena (the proof is how excited Sarah J Maas is in that photo of someone else dressed up like Celaena. Just image how happy you’d make your favorite author when you post a photo of your costumed self on twitter!). Not to mention, there are tons of books, which means there are tons of costume options. Just google Celaena for yourself and you’ll find all sorts of inspiration!


celaena costume

3. Mary Poppins 

Seriously fun costume ideas (I actually may want to be Mary Poppins this year…), and let’s not forget that these iconic characters are inspired from a book!

mary poppins bert and mary

4. The Red Rising Series

Have I mentioned how much I love this series? You should dress up as these characters NOW, before the movies come out, so that when everyone is dressing up as these characters a few years from now you can be like: “Psh, did that ages ago, bruh.”


5. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Um, I feel like this movie was made so that we could have awesome Halloween costumes.


6. The Big Friendly Giant

How easy would this be? Smack some big ears on your head and find a small person figurine to hold!


7. The Wizard of Oz

An oldie by goodie! Let’s not forget it’s also based on a book. And if you’re planning on going as Dorothy you better get her shoes right: They’re silver. That will mark you as the true book reader.


8. The Magicians

While most of the characters from this trilogy (and TV show) dress in normal clothes (how EASY would that be??), one character, The Beast, has a very identifiable look. And it’s also easy! All you need is a tree branch and a gray suit.

the magicians

9. The Shades of Magic trilogy

The characters from A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows have super identifiable features (Kell’s black eye and super cool coat, Lila’s knives and short black hair), and there’s all sort of fun scenes in the books that you could pull costume ideas from.



There are so, so, so many more ideas out there. This post could go on forever. Since I am supposed to have a life outside blogging, the post must end some time. Let me take a moment to remind you of the always excellent, tried and true, classic costumes based on books:

  • Harry Potter
  • Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit
  • Peter Pan
  • Dracula (also Renfield!)
  • Frankenstein (Frankenstein’s monster)
  • Treasure Island (Long John Silver)

chime in
What are some of your favorite costumes based on books? Are you dressing up this year? If so, what as? If you aren’t, what would you want to dress up as if you had the time?


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  1. I wanr ro dress up as so many of those, but the outcome always feels so inadequate. I went as a Shadowhunter last year and it was a disaster. People just thought I was a witch with tattoos 😂

    1. Bahahaha, right?!? That’s how I feel, too. We need to have a blogger Halloween party so we can all dress up as our favorite book heroes/heroines, and we’ll actually know who each other is!

    1. I LOVE Veruca Salt! What a great idea! Harriet the Spy would also be awesome. Mary Poppins is a fun one, because there are several iconic outfits to choose from and she’s highly recognizable!

  2. I don’t know if bookish DIY’s are something you’d want to do – but if so, we could totally do obe on how to make the wands… just a thought 😉

    1. I think a lot of people would probably love that! My only concern is that you’d do the bulk of the work and get nothing out of it, because I’d envision taking photos of the process sort of step by step (and um, I don’t know how to make the wands so…). I could promote whatever it is you’d want me to promote, but if you don’t have anything I’d feel bad that you’d do all the work.

      1. Lol, I don’t really care about getting anything out of it. I still have a bunch of the stuff from making them (i think..) So, let me rifle through a few things (stuff is still in boxes from moving) and see. If I have all the parts, then what I can do is mail you the pieces (for like a step by step photo shoot) and we can go from there! The wands are super easy to make, only thing that you would need to look into borrowing (or you may have it) is a hand-held router (with different bits) to take a photo of and a small jar of wood stain (i don’t think that would mail well… lol). The rest I should have the supplies for.