My darling readers, I had so intended to fill my blog with Halloween-related posts this week, but work has been crazily busy in a wonderful way–we are preparing for our annual gala, i.e., fancy dresses, but also lots of edits to make because our donors have been sooo generous that we have lots to auction off!

So instead of the epic–in length, as well as content–top 10 that I owe you, which I am still working on, I am instead going to give you what we all really want–pumpkins.

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In fact, I wore several pumpkins myself, today.

That’s right, pumpkins. You know I love them. Tonight will celebrate, in specific, Book-O’-Lanterns!, a collection of beautiful literary carvings. You can view it on Bookriot’s original Oct. 24 post by Rita Meade, or you can view its entirety here:

Posted by
Rita Meade
October 24, 2013

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, lit-lovers: HALLOWEEN TIME! And what better way to combine your love of books and your love of Halloween than by carving a pumpkin in a book-related fashion? Trick question! THERE IS NO BETTER WAY.

Full disclosure: I haven’t personally carved a pumpkin in a long, long time. That’s not because I think I’m too cool for Halloween or because I hate dealing with the goopy pumpkin insides – it’s because I never progressed past the “three triangles and a mouth slash” stage of jack-o’-lantern design. You know the one.

This is literally the best sketch I could do. Banksy I am NOT.

This is literally the best sketch I could do. Banksy I am NOT.

Luckily, there are people in the world who are extremely creative and talented in the realm of pumpkin carving, and thanks to the magic of the internet, we can use their ideas for inspiration. Here are some cool bookish jack-o’-lanterns I dug up that haven’t been featured on other such lists out there.

Our own Rebecca Schinsky recently kicked off the spooky fun on our Facebook page with her wonderful READ pumpkin. (And a response on our Facebook page is what inspired this post, so thank you, readers!)


Blogger Christie Speich has some awesome YA-lit inspired jack-o’-lanterns on her site, including the two below, which display some serious carving skills. (She also provides free patterns on her site, so be sure to check it out!)




There are many Harry Potter-themed pumpkins out there, but I like this one featured on the Our House of Paint blog because it’s A) adorable B) easy to make. (Instructions are provided on the site, and there’s lots of other great Halloween stuff on there too!)


If you’re interested in more elaborate “Harry Potter” patterns, some can be found here and here.

For you manga fans, here’s a badass “Dragon Ball Z” pumpkin created by Anj of the Comic Box Commentary blog (and there’s more on the site). Don’t try to steal any candy from THIS guy.


Anj was also nice enough to email me a photo of another impressive jack-o’-lantern he carved featuring theMockingjay pin. May the trick-or-treating be ever in your favor.


On the ObSEUSSed blog, the Cat in the Hat is featured in all his mischievous glory. (I especially like the first stage photo because it shows that you don’t necessarily need to break out the Ginsu knives to make a festive pumpkin.)

Stage 1

Stage 1

Final Stage

Final Stage

Author David Rochelle’s talents apparently include writing AND pumpkin carving. Check out the cute “Fall Into a Good Book” jack-o’-lantern (via librarian extraordinaire Mr. Schu).


Spoonful has many cute printable patterns, including this one inspired by Mary Poppins.


You can also find some other great YA-inspired patterns over at YA Highway. Awesome stuff.

Did you carve a literary inspired pumpkin this year? Or do you have a favorite site for bookish carving patterns? Let us know! And, of course, have a happy, safe, and book-filled Halloween.


About Rita Meade

Rita Meade is a public librarian in Brooklyn, NY. She blogs about the more interesting parts of her job at, and she can be found on Twitter @ScrewyDecimal.

All posts by Rita Meade  Twitter


9 thoughts on “Book-‘O-Lanterns!

  1. Lovely time of year, filled with lovely kinds of gear. Shame it’s all over so quickly 😦
    Soon to be no more festive pumpkins or beautiful fall colors. Wonderful designs though — love the Mary Poppins! (she’s always frightened me)


  2. Thanks for all the neat picture posts! Don’t forget with Halloween, there is also an obligatory reading of the children’s book Whoooo’s There???? 🙂


  3. Pingback: Happy Halloween: Memories of Halloweens Past | Jelly-Side Up

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