10 Bookish Costume Ideas for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner! If you’re looking for a costume idea, we’ve collected our top 10 literature-inspired outfits here by level of difficulty, so you can look bookishly awesome no matter how much time you have on your hands.

1. Ishmael, from Moby Dick


You’re just one name tag away from “Call me Ishmael.”

2. Fifty Shades of Grey


Witty and racy. Head to your local hardware store for some free color sheets and you’re done! 

3. A semi-colon


Just make sure you only stand between two independent clauses at the party.

4. Hester Prynne, from The Scarlet Letter


You could go all out for this one and dress in Puritan garb, but really the only requirement is the red ‘A’ pinned to your chest. Besides, a modern-day Hester costume would probably earn you real feminist brownie points.

5. Matilda Wormwood

Matilda costume

Everybody loves Roald Dahl’s Matilda, and dressing up like the young bookworm is easy: all you’ll need is a ribbon in your hair, a floral dress or overalls, and some books. Extra points for tacking on the red wagon or the ability to move objects with your mind.

6. Your favorite book cover


There are a few clever ways to do this one: you could paint a cardboard box and wear it over your torso, dress up as the person on the cover of the book (like this great face paint job to recreate Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), or have a friend paint the cover on the backs of your hands so you can hold them up like you’re actually reading the book (which, be honest, you’d much rather be doing anyway).


7. Carrie


To become Stephen King’s iconic character you will need: 1 white dress, 1 bucket o’blood, and Sissy Spacek’s crazy eyes.

8. Zombie librarian


Sure, you could be your classic librarian, but playing with fake blood is just so much more fun!

9. Darcy and Elizabeth


If you have a guy who’ll agree to dress as Mr. Darcy, you’ve already won.

10. Danaerys Targaryen / Khaleesi


The further you can go with this costume the better! Extra points for bringing your own baby dragons or, for the shockers, an edible horse heart…. mmmm.

Last but not least… the easiest literary costume ever: Godot


Skip the party altogether and leave them wondering when you’ll show up.

What do you plan to dress as this Halloween? Share your bookish costume ideas in a comment!