11 Times Bookish Nail Art Gave Us Life

by  | June 8

When I finish a book that I love, I email my mom to tell her about it, or post a photo on Instagram if I’m feeling particularly ambitious. I recently discovered an incredible species of book lovers who, upon finishing a cherished tome, painstakingly spend hours painting their nails in an unique design that gorgeously encapsulates the book’s cover. Since most of my attempts at self-manicures end in four-letter words and polish smeared all over my hands (and I bet yours do too), enjoy these 11 ridiculously amazing examples of nail art inspired by some of your favorite books and bookish things.

1. These stunningly beautiful nails inspired by The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound)

We love the “shattered pretty thing” motif used for the covers of Liane Moriarty’s domestic suspense novels (see also What Alice Forgot and Big Little Lies)–and it translates perfectly to nail art.

2. These quirky nails inspired by the iconic Penguin logo

It would have been overkill to have ten little penguins tromping around your nail beds, so this mainly minimalist manicure with a ring finger penguin hits just the right note.

3. These sinister nails inspired by The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound)

Lisbeth Salandar might not approve (we suspect she’s more of a chipped-black mani kind of gal), but tattoo-inspired tips are at the top of our list we’ll be bringing to our nail artist.

4. These frosty tips inspired by Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound)

Kami Garcia (coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures series) called Unravel Me is “dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense”–we say the same adjectives apply to this nail art inspired by the jacket!

5. These light and romantic nails inspired by Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound)

Text this one to your girls before you head out to see the movie version of Jojo Moyes’s novel Me Before You.

(Related: 11 Books to Read Before You See the Movie)


6. These delightful New York + London nails inspired by The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound)

Perfect for after you read this novel of new love on a transatlantic flight, or just if you’re planning your next trip to the visit the Big Apple or Big Ben.


7. These glittery nails nails inspired by Confess by Colleen Hoover (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound)

This shimmering manicure perfectly echoes the mesmerizing cover of Colleen Hoover’s novel, winner of the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award for Romance.

8. These simple but quirky nails inspired by Some Extremely Boring Drives by Marguerite Pigeon (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound)

Inspired by the short story collection from critically acclaimed Canadian writer Marguerite Pigeon, this striped, dotted, and winking manicure is anything but boring.

9. These whimsical nails inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound)

The incredible level of detail in these Alice in Wonderland nails is only second to the richness of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale of what happens when you decide to go down the rabbit hole.

10. These straight-up booktastic nails

Not so much inspired by a single book, but by the candy-colored library OF YOUR DREAMS.

11. These gorgeous nails inspired by The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound)

We’re obsessed with this magical manicure that reimagines Tolkien’s classic novel of Bilbo Baggin’s epic quest.