Moody Bookish Art Prints


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Book Riot Managing Editor Vanessa Diaz is a writer and former bookseller from San Diego, CA whose Spanish is even faster than her English. When not reading or writing, she enjoys dreaming up travel itineraries and drinking entirely too much tea. She is a regular co-host on the All the Books podcast who especially loves mysteries, gothic lit, mythology/folklore, and all things witchy. Vanessa can be found on Instagram at @BuenosDiazSD or taking pictures of pretty trees in Portland, OR, where she now resides.

Earlier this month I took a week off of work, the first chunk of time I’d taken in a long while that wasn’t dedicated to some family emergency or medical issue. I made big plans to sleep, spend time with trees, and go on a little roadtrip to either Washington or the Oregon Coast. So as luck would have it, I was rear ended two days before my vacation.

I’m fine, overall. My car is getting fixed, I’m in a rental, and I’m being treated for some neck & shoulder stuff. Though relatively minor, the pain was enough to make the idea of sitting in a car for even a few hours a non-starter. So I canceled the roadtrip and opted for a chill staycation and finally got a bunch of stuff done that I’d been meaning to do for actual years (don’t judge me). That included finding ways to make my very modern apartment feel more like my aesthetic, i.e. more dark & moody.

Once I got started, I found it hard to stop. Some friends did me the solid of putting some gorgeous dark green paint on the walls, and now I’m on a mission to really deck the place out in art and decor that’s a Vanessa-specific combo of moody, Gothic, Victorian, vintage, gold/brass, and/or floral with little Mexican touches. I’m newly into the thrill of the thrifted or antique find, trolling all of my local thrift and antique shops in search of vintage candlesticks, wall sconces, drawer pulls, and other cositas to make the vibes right. The next project is to acquire more art to put up, and there is where I started pulling my hair out.

Y’all. I wanted some moody bookish art for my living area and found it so hard to find art that fits the vibe and isn’t AI-generated, at least on a budget and via my go-to sources. I perused a floppity jillion Etsy shops going, “nope, nope, nope, more nope” as I zoomed in on print after print of what was obviously made by AI. I did find some Etsy shops offering original works or vintage reproductions, and found a few more once I went in search elsewhere on the interwebs. But wow, was that a project. So if you’re looking for some moody bookish art, here are a few of the best ones I came across. But also, if you have some suggestions on where to look, hit a girl up!

art print sowin a skull perched atop multiple open books with several butterflies floating midair

When I first set out on Operation Decoration, I already had two gorgeous pieces of art from artist Alyssa Thorne (here is one of them). Her prints are museum-quality, velvety-matte giclée and come in multiple sizes, starting with 8″ x 10″. I may need this one next – skulls, books, bugs. $45+

art print of an open book with several pieces of greenery wedged in its pagesart print of an open book with several pieces of greenery wedged in its pages

Here’s another one from Alyssa Thorne – books and greenery? I’m in. $45+

art print of the Rose Reading Room in the New York Public Library

This sort of feels like cheating because it’s a modern image of the , but it’s dark and moody and who doesn’t love a library? This is a framed piece and you can pick from multiple frame types and colors, sizes start at 8″ x 10″. $75+

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