Tattoo Stories

I have READ tattooed on my right knuckles (nothing on my left).

It’s a conversation starter!

April, 2023: “What does that say on your hand?”
“Oh, I thought it said DEAD. Bam!”
“Yeah, I’m not quite that tough”
“You know, you having that tattoo, and working in a library, is funny”

March, 2023: “I like your tattoo.” “Oh, thanks.” “Is it real?” “Yeah.” “That’s hard.”

May, 2021: “Does that say BREAD?” asks the woman at the bakery counter. “No, I didn’t have enough fingers for that.” “Too bad,” she says. “I could really get behind BREAD, you know?”

January 24, 2017: “Is your last name also READ?” He said, looking at my tattoo. “Nope,” I replied, ” just my profession.”

October 29, 2016: “Oh cool tattoo,” said the dude at the coffee shop. “Does your other hand say anything?”
“Nope,” I replied, “my fists are uneven.”
“It reminds me of playing woodwinds.”
“Yes but my tattoo has an A,” I muttered.
“Did you hear what I said?” he asked. “I said IT REMINDS ME OF PLAYING WOODWINDS.”
“Yes,” I said, “Good job. It’s a homophone.”
He beamed at me.

November 15, 2016: Patron notices my tattoo. “Wow you must have been here a long time!” She says. “Yes,” I reply, “They do one knuckle each decade.”

August 24, 2016: “That tattoo – READ – is totally badass,” said the sweet girl pouring my coffee. That’s right folks, I’m totally badass.

August 24, 2016: “I like that tattoo,” said the slightly less sweet girl behind the register. “READ. What could be more hardcore?” My knuckle tattoo: impressing folks at coffee shops since 2015.

March 28, 2016: “Yes I will read,” said the cashier at Whole Foods. “I will take your knuckles’ suggestion.” “Oh good,” I replied. “My work here is done.”

February 11, 2016: Guy at story time: “Hey, my neighbor posted a picture of your knuckle tats on Facebook!” I’m famous, folks.

February 3, 2016: This is the story of how I ended up with EAT tattooed on my left arm (and, less directly, SLEEP on my right): “What other tattoos do you have?”, our volunteer asked, “I see READ and BIKE. How about EAT?” “Well I do love food,” I said.

January 20, 2016: “Did you get that just for the library?” The twelve year old asked, looking at my tattoo.

January 4, 2016: “That say READ?” said the cashier at Home Depot. “Yes,” I said. “I’m a librarian.” “You should have it say READing is fundamental. You’re the coolest librarian ever!” aww, shucks.

January 3, 2016: “I’m trying to see your tattoo,” she said, with her head tilted sideways. I made a fist, “It just says READ.” “Oh,” She said, ” I knew it had to be something positive. Because you’re a librarian.”

October 24, 2015: My coworker says, “So is that real?”

October 21, 2015: Helped adorable kid put a hold on an Amulet book. “I like your tattoo. Read?” he said and then stuck out his hand for a fist bump.

June 23, 2015: At my ramen shop, and the busser said to me, “You come here all the time, huh? With the tattoo?”

June 6, 2015: Had a fun discussion with a three year old about what tattoo she would like on her knuckles. The verdict? She has a stamp of a chicken feet, and another of a chickie holding an egg and those will be satisfactory.

June 2, 2015: On the BART, and a guy on his way to the Giants game says, “Do your knuckles say read? No way!” “Yep,” I says. “Is read your last name?” he asks. “No,” I say scathingly, “I’m a librarian.” “I don’t believe you!” He shouts, “Where’s your library card?”

May 7, 2015: Today a guy looked at my tattoo and said, “you must read a lot.” “Yep,” I said. Then he said, “and I bet you punch people when they don’t like reading.” “Yep,” I said, “That’s my job. I read a lot, and then I punch people who don’t like reading.”

April 20, 2015: Man, old guys really like my READ tattoo

March 26, 2015: Today a nice white haired gentleman used his handkerchief and pretended to rub the tattoos right off my fingers.

March 4, 2015: “Is that permanent?”
“That’s quite a commitment.”

March 1, 2015:

…please tell me the other hand says “fool”

…I frigging love it so hard! You make me want to be a librarian and get the same tattoo! (You can still get one! Everyone is allowed to love reading, not just librarians)

…Is this legit?? I have been considering the Read More finger tattoos!

…you are a bad ass

…Just admit it, you’re a tattoo-lovin-liberal-pinko-commie-librarian

…My mom has face tats

…This is awesome!

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