What is Dark Academia? The aesthetic of sitting alone in a library for hours on end, studying classics and literature. Scratching furiously in scattered books. A pile of crumpled papers. Memorizing poetry. Flickering candles. Staying up until ungodly hours of the night, obsessed with finding answers. Sweater vests, plaid pants, collars, wearing turtle necks, and beige coats. Looking dramatic but like in a smart way.
Check out our selection of books we think will help fulfill your dark academia desires. We’ve got a good mix of young-adult, adult, classics, poetry and Shakespeare reads!
And so we begin, in no particular order….
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: A beautiful book that’s narrated by death (yes - death, as in the concept) and focuses on a young book thief and her many adventures.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde: There’s a lot of like..being pretentious, gay, and committing henious crimes. Also It’s by Oscar Wilde - one of the dark academia gods.
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco: Believe it or not, young adult books can give you some crazy good dark academia vibes (and the good part is they won’t spend three pages describing a painting *cough cough, oscar wilde*). This one features an aspiring female forensic scientist who’s trying to find a serial killer whilst simultaneously attending university dressed as a man and constantly putting misogynists in their place (all in a day's work - amiright).
Hamlet by Shakespeare: What’s more dark academic then reciting soliloquies and talking to a skull? Putting on a play to get your step-father/uncle to confess to murder? Being kind of gay for Horatio?
Bull by David Elliott: a perfect one for chaotic dark academics who love classics. This one is a retelling of a famous greek myth in poetry form, and it features a super sassy poseidon. It’s both hilarious and heart wrenching.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo: A thrilling horror/mystery set in the town of New Haven. Secret societies tied up with ghosts and demons!! Join Galaxy Stern as she navigates the occult and forbidden at Yale University.
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle) by Maggie Stiefvater: How can you search for something that you aren’t even certain exists? Pour your entire heart and soul into a mission that only you believe in? When Blue meets the “Raven Boys,” she immediately assumes that they are just rich, private-school boys, spoiled with privilege. But there is more to them than meets the eye. Each one in the group is keeping a deadly secret… and they have to work together in order to succeed.
Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices Trilogy) by Cassandra Clare: A gripping love triangle set in London in the 1800s full of angels, demons, vampires and more! Tessa Gray’s journey into the dark supernatural world of Shadowhunters will leave you breathless and craving for more.
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson: Elisabeth works in a library, among hundreds of books. But not just regular books!
These are alive and dangerous! She is forced to work together with her sworn enemy, sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, to save the Great Libraries from a conspiracy uncovered to be centuries old. This is hands down the best stand-alone fantasy book I have ever read, and I recommend it to everyone!!
Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Read the original version of the story that inspired so many amazing retellings and interpretations!!
Thanks for reading! Did we miss any of your dark academic faves? Let us know in the comments!