top of page
  • Writer's pictureHannah Zunic

Perfect Costumes For You Literary Lovers

Hello, Book Nerds! Welcome back to Reading Has Ruined My Life or welcome if you are new. As always, my name is Hannah and I am your captain on this journey into my bookcases.

We’re so close to the best day of the year! We’re just over a month out!

It's almost the best day of the year!

Now is the time to get your Halloween costume locked down. I still have no idea what I’m going to be for Halloween. I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out who or what I want to dress up as. And I’ve come up with a list. Maybe I’ll be one of these things. Maybe you will be. Who knows.

Today I present to you five costume ideas for all you Book Nerds. These ideas are purely feminine options but I do have a post like this from last year which features some more gender neutral costume ideas. Click here for some more inspiration.

Also, if you’re reading this post and decide one of these costumes is for you, please share your awesome Halloween pictures with us on Instagram. You can find RHRML at @ReadingHasRuinedMyLife. Give us a follow while you’re there. I post book news, Books&Lewks, and memes; lots and lots of memes. We have fun there so please join.

With that, let me tell you my ideas for this Halloween.

Let's get Spooky!

5. Kicking off this list is the one and only Nancy Drew. There are so many time periods and adaptations of this sleuth to choose from. Personally, I’d do a late 50s/early 60s version of her. That’s the time period I tend to think of her existing in. Alternatively you can recreate the outfit Emma Roberts wore for the promo material from the 2007 Nancy Drew film. Anyone remember that little gem? And if you want, this could be a good group or couples costume. Get your bae to dress up as Ned Nickerson. Get your besties to be Bess and George. Plus, no matter what iteration of Nancy you choose, you can thrift the outfit. Just make sure to get a magnifying glass. That’s like the only requirement to be Nancy. That and plaid. Plaid is another thing that I associate with Nancy Drew.

Nancy Drew book covers.

4. Hey, know what I can’t go a week without mentioning on RHRML? Gothic literature. I don’t have any certain book in mind for this one, but dress up as the heroine from the cover of a gothic romance. You know the type of book I’m talking about. Those gothic romance/pulp horror novels from the 60s. I’m specifically talking about the ones where the heroine is running away from a gothic manor or castle in a flowy dress, it’s probably white, and she has an oil lamp or candelabra with her as she runs through the moors. The vibes are immaculate. I guess in the back of my mind I’m thinking of the cover of Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone. I want to emulate that. But there are countless book covers that match the vibe I’m going for with this suggestion.

Book cover of Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone.

3. Are you going to look like the Hot Mess Express by the end of the night? Beat yourself to the punch and dress up like the heroine on the cover of Siri, Who Am I? by Sam Tschida. If you haven’t read this book, let me tell ya about it. The main character’s name is Mia. She wakes up in the hospital with amnesia. None of her phone contacts are saved, she doesn’t know her own name, and has to piece together her life via Instagram. All she knows is that she came into the hospital with a tiara and she seems to like The Kardashians. This brings me to the costume. Like I said, you’re going out looking like the Hot Mess Express. You’ll need a party dress, make it disheveled, a messy updo featuring a tiara, and a good pair of statement earrings. This one’s niche, but it will be fun. Also, if you want to read my review on Siri, Who Am I? then click here.

Book cover of Siri, Who Am I? by Sam Tschida.

2. There are three poems that I fuck with. “The Raven” by Our Lord and Savior Edgar Allan Poe, “Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti, and “The Lady of Shalott” by Alfred Tennyson. We’re talking about that last one today. Listen, Halloween stores already have that medieval/renaissance costume section so take advantage of it. Grab a pretty medieval dress, ideally one with some fun bell sleeves, and be a bit extra. When someone asks you what you’re supposed to be you can give them the slightly pretentious answer of The Lady of Shalott. But maybe you’ll find a fellow book nerd and become friends.

Cover of "The Lady of Shalott."

1. I think it would be a disservice to not include the Chaotic Queen we all know and love on this list. I could only be talking about Amelia Bedelia. Everyone’s favorite, most helpful maid. Pay homage to her and dress up like her this Halloween. Good news, this is another costume you can easily thrift. All you need is a black top and skirt combo, a long sleeve button down white shirt for underneath the black shirt, or you can go with a little black dress if you prefer, and a white half apron. Top it off with some flowers in your hair. Amelia Bedelia wears a hat with daisies on it, but I feel like you could get away with a floral headband. And that’s it. All you need is a makeshift maid costume and flower crown. Get out there and paint the town red. Literally.

Amelia Bedelia book cover.

Thus endeth our list! I hope I’ve given you some good costume ideas. If you go with any of these please let me know, I’d love to see the final product. Again you can find RHRML on Twitter and Instagram at @RHRMLBlog and @ReadingHasRuinedMyLife respectively.

With that, I shall bid you all adieu. I’ll see you next with a great new review to keep the Spooky Season vibes going.

Until then, stay safe, wash your hands, and read some good books for me.

Bears waving.
See y'all then, bye!

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page