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Moody Bookish Art Prints

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Vanessa Diaz

Managing Editor

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
Image from

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 pages
Image from

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
Image from Jon Bilous at Society6

This sort of feels like cheating because it’s a modern image of the Rose Reading Room at the New York Public Library, 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+

art print in a dark academia theme of a marble bust, a hand-written letter, a fountiain pen, a lamp. a typewriter, and a pile of books
Image from Beautiful Souls at Society6

This one brings the dark academia vibes. I confess I would actually love to just style the individual items pictured here, but a print rounding them up will also do just fine. Multiple sizes offered starting at 9″ x 8″. $20+

vintage art print of a home library with ornate chairs, plants, and a chandelier
Image from Blossom Botanica at Etsy

This is very much the vibe I was going for, and a room I’d want to have in my home (but with a bigger chandelier). It comes in lots of sizes from 5″ x 7″ to 24″ x 30″ and prices range from $20-$85.

vintage art print showing old books arranged in eight pickets of a bookshelf
Image from Blossom Botanica at Etsy

I will always love a print of old bookshelves. This also comes in sizes from 5″ x 7″ to 24″ x 30″ with prices from $20-$85.

three art prints arranged in a gallery wall. Prints are of a dark academia theme. One is of a staircase, one of pink roses, and one of several books
Image from Blossom Botanica at Etsy

I have always wanted to do a gallery wall but I get overwhelmed by the idea of having to put it together. This set of three dark academia-themed prints takes the guesswork out! $59+

a dark academia-themed gallery wall set of 10 prints
Image from Blossom Botanica at Etsy

And here’s a bigger option with a set of 10 prints. $176

Woman Reading by Lucius Rossi, an art print showing a Victorian era woman lounging on an ornate chair reading a book
Image from PublicArtGarden on Etsy

This print is a reproduction of a piece called Woman Reading by artist Lucius Rossi and is more colorful and light in tone that what I thought I wanted, but I love those golds and greens contrasted against the orange. I think I’ll just stick it in a gorgeous vintage gold and black frame . Sizes range from 8″ x 10″ to 18″ x 24″. $18+

The Chamber of Count Lanckoronski Vienna by Rudolf von Alt, a vintage illustration of a room decorated with assorted art pieces on the walls, furniture in rick fabrics with gold stitching, and shelves of books
Image from PublicArtGarden on Etsy

The books aren’t the focal point of this print, but I love the overstuffed, gilded explosion going on. This is a reproduction of The Chamber Of Count Lanckoronski Vienna by Rudolf von Alt and also comes in sizes from 8″ x 10″ to 18″ x 24″. $18+

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