10 Bookish Costume Ideas for Halloween

Are you a fellow bibliophile looking to dress up for Halloween? Then check out this list of bookish costumes we’ve curated just for you.

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If you have a deep-rooted love for all things bookish, then it only makes sense for you to dress up as a bookish character for Halloween. For this spooky season, we’ve pulled together ten book-inspired costumes to get you into the holiday spirit!

1. Matilda

A young girl dressed up as Matilda while holding the book her costume is inspired from.

We’re starting off with this adorable 90’s throwback character, Matilda! Adopted into a cruel and abusive family, Matilda spends most of her time going to the library until she realizes she has the power of telekinesis! Matilda is often depicted in a cutesy blue dress, some Mary Janes, and a red ribbon around her head.

2. The Joker

Girl with green-dyed hair and clown makeup inspired by the Joker.

Ever since Heath Ledger’s incredible performance in the 2008 film, The Dark Night, I have always been a fan of the Joker. The best part about the design of the DC comic villain is that it can easily be DIY’d into a fun costume (and before you say anything, comic books do count as books). Go ahead and plaster on some clown make-up and green hair spray (or a green wig, if you prefer), and you’ve got your Joker!

3. Waldo

Man leaning on a cane and wearing a red and white striped tshirt and beanie along with travel gear wrapped around his shoulders.

Where’s Waldo? is a childhood look-and-find favorite for many 90s babies like myself (and yes, people born in 1999 still count as 90s kids). Waldo is always seen sporting the iconic red-and-white striped shirt and beanie, thick-rimmed glasses, and some over-the-top traveling gear. Just look through your uncle’s closet, and you’ll probably find what you’re looking for (no pun intended).

4. Belle

Woman standing outside and holding a book while wearing a blue dress and a white apron around her waist as her Belle costume

To be kind, well-read, and incredibly curious about the world is to have all the quintessential traits of a bookish character such as Belle from Beauty and the Beast. On top of this being the perfect costume for a book lover, I’m also convinced that the B in “Belle” stands for Bookworm.

5. Little Red Riding Hood

Woman appearing frightened while crouched on the ground and wearing a red shoulder cloak. Next to her is a red enlaced wicker basket.

Who could forget this popular bedtime story? There are a bunch of variations of this character, ranging from gingham-patterned dresses to gothic attire, so there’s something for everyone. I would just make sure not to run into a talking wolf on your way to the store.

6. Spider-Man

A person clinging onto a pillar in a Spider-man jumpsuit and gesturing directly at the camera

Since we’ve already mentioned a DC comic book character, it’s only fair to include one from the Marvel universe as well. This may not be the most original choice, but it certainly is the easiest to come by. All you need to do is slip into a web-printed jumpsuit, and your spidey senses will be tingling in no time.

7. Sherlock Holmes

Young boy is dressed in the classic Sherlock Holmes attire for Halloween. He is sat on a front porch reading a book

I’m sure that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had no idea Sherlock Holmes would become such a well-loved and timeless character, let alone a character to cosplay as for Halloween! Any trench coat paired with a BBC hat and a magnifying glass is pretty much fair game, but you’re the detective here. Go investigate for yourself!

8. Captain Underpants

A little boy is dressed as Captain Underpants for Halloween while holding a Captain Underpants' book

Next, we have the man, the myth, the bald, portly hero who just really likes saving the world in his underwear: Captain Underpants. There’s no doubt that showing up to a party in this garb will make for a very memorable Halloween.

9. Camilla Cream

Woman covered in rainbow striped face paint for her Halloween costume as Camilla Cream. She wears a pink bow and tutu while holding a picture book

If you’re looking for something to fuel your nostalgia, look no further. On her first day of school, Camilla Cream wakes up with the bad case of the stripes! Note that this costume involves quite a lot of face paint and, to stay on the safe side, maybe have a spoonful of lima beans.

10. A Spell Book

Little girl stands in the walkway of a garden dressed up as the spell book from Hocus Pocus for Halloween

Can’t settle on a book character? Then why not go out as an actual book? Since the Hocus Pocus sequel has been released on Disney Plus, now is the perfect time to recreate your own spell book costume! Just don’t forget to run a spell-check before you go.

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