- For the various real-world books based on RWBY, see RWBY Books.
Numerous pieces of literature like books, magazines and comics are mentioned in the RWBY universe. Both Ruby Rose and Blake Belladonna are known to be keen readers of books. Ruby also states that Yang Xiao Long used to read her stories every night before bed, which is what inspired her to become a Huntress.
Specific appearances and mentions of books on the show include:
- Another Pun - Jaune Arc is seen reading this book beside Blake in "Bike Race", the 16th episode of RWBY Chibi, which takes place after hearing Yang's puns in the previous skit. It was also seen in "Geist Buster", when placed on Ruby's stack of books. Bartholomew Oobleck hands this book to Yang to cure her of her boredom in "Books Fix Everything".
- Bound by Destiny - This book is seen in The Mystery Bunch during the "Computer Virus" skit. It is one of three books in the "Read like Roses Book Club" pop-up ad.
- Cold Heart/Hot Love - A book Winter Schnee wants but Qrow Branwen gets to first in "Mortal Frenemies".
- Dealing with Hyperactive Children - In "Spin the Bottle" and "Pillow Fight", the 13th and 19th episodes of RWBY Chibi, Blake is seen holding this book by D.M.A.H.M.L. Prowler.
- Hidden Remnant - Book mentioned in RWBY: After the Fall. Blake uses it to cover and secretly read My Sweet Samurai, but falls asleep behind them instead.
- History: Huntsmen and Huntresses - In "Ren Plays Tag", the 9th episode of RWBY Chibi, when Nora Valkyrie tags Lie Ren, he is seen reading this book by B. Oobleck.
- How to Arm Yourself - Yang throws this book at Jaune and Ren's book fort in "Geist Buster".
- How to Read and Write: Part 1 - This book is seen on a stack of books that Yang is holding in "Geist Buster".
- Howling at the Moon - Blake is seen with this book twice in "Super Besties", the 30th episode of RWBY Chibi. Blake identifies it as part of a series and states it is “about a beastly protagonist who can never reach the object of his affections.” It is supposedly written by Ruby's pet Corgi, Zwei. Ruby borrows the book from Blake for too long in "Teenage Faunus Ninja Catgirl".
- 'Kink' in the Chamomille - This book is seen on a stack of books that Ruby is holding in "Geist Buster". The title misspells "Chamomile", a type of flowering plant used for tea.
- My Sweet Samurai - Book read by Blake when Team CFVY and Team RWBY discuss the Beacon Dance in RWBY: After the Fall.
- Necronomicon - A book Ruby finds buried under a dead oak tree which turns out to be possessed as it crawls away from her living room. Tom Alvarado confirmed it to be a reference to the eponymous book from The Evil Dead.
- Ninjas of Love - In "The Badge and The Burden", as Blake goes through her belongings, she happens across a book named Ninjas of Love. She quickly becomes embarrassed and looks around nervously, giving a clue as to its contents. Monty Oum has said that it is a reference to a similar joke used in Naruto likely referring to the Icha Icha novels.
- The same book also appears near the end of a "Camp Camp" episode, which is also a Rooster Teeth series.
- In RWBY Chibi, Ruby comes across Blake's copy of Ninjas of Love, written by Patty Berdioler. She opens up a centerfold and comments "Now that's a katana." She later admonishes Blake for possessing such filth, but refuses to return it and keeps it for herself. Earlier in the same scene, Blake is shown to be positively mortified at the thought that someone might have seen she owns a copy of the novel. The book is seen multiple times throughout RWBY Chibi. The front of the book has the tagline, "No shadows can conceal the lust of one enigma for long..." and the blurb on the back of the book reads:
- When a young woman abandons the comforts [...] where she was bound to have an easy life but [...] and self-absorbed to see past her petty [...] realize how lucky she was, she runs away to [...] where she becomes ninja.
- Little does she know that over the years she has been watched from the shadows by a ninja master, a lone enigma that haunts the darkness of the night itself. What will happen when our young woman is consumed by the heat of this shadowy man...?
- The Corpse Doctor - Blake mentions this book to Yang in RWBY #4, saying it is "about the horror and responsibility of creation". Implied to be a pastiche of Frankenstein.
- The Sais of Passion - Blake is seen reading this book beside Jaune in "Bike Race". Its title can be more clearly seen in "Geist Buster", the 2nd episode of RWBY Chibi season 2, when placed on Ruby's stack of books.
- Slave to the Sword - Blake is seen reading this book in "Geist Buster".
- The Boy Who Fell from the Sky - Book read by Blake when she first met Velvet Scarlentina in RWBY: After the Fall.
- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - In "The Shining Beacon, Pt.2", Blake is shown reading this real-to-life book. When asked by Ruby, she states that the book is "about a man with two souls, each fighting for control over his body"
- Remnant's version of the book is entitled "The Man with Two Souls".
- In "The Vacuum", the 6th episode of the non-canon RWBY Chibi, Blake has two books, The Man With Two Souls and its sequel, The Man With Two Souls II: The Man With Four Souls, both written by Ursula Berpdioloo. The first part was seen again in "Geist Buster".
- In RWBY #4, Blake lends Yang The Man With Two Souls, who finds it "dry and dusty" and can't even go past the first chapter. Yang later discusses it with Blake, who says the book's theme is "something you didn't know that you had inside you". During her post-Beacon recovery, Yang is seen finishing the novel, which does end like the real book.
- In "Unforeseen Complications" Ruby says the following line "Well, we never met a person with two souls before, so, first times all around." while talking with Oscar Pine, a clear callback to this scene.
- Remnant's version of the book is entitled "The Man with Two Souls".
- The Thief and the Butcher- In "Best Day Ever", Emerald Sustrai and Mercury Black enter Tukson's book store, whose catchphrase is "Home to every book under the sun." They ask him if he stocks several books, naming specifically The Thief and the Butcher which he has. It is later revealed that the novel is a classic, drawing from the fairy tale of The Judgement of Faunus, reflecting the Faunus belief that their story is still unfolding and they have yet to discover their true purpose. The novel was then adapted into a film, which Ozpin considers excellent. This title is also a meta-reference to Emerald and Mercury themselves.
- The Third Crusade - In "Best Day Ever", Emerald and Mercury enter Tukson's bookstore, whose catchphrase is "Home to every book under the sun." Though confirming possession of other titles mentioned, Tukson becomes extremely apprehensive and states that his store does not stock this particular book.
- The Undead - Blake mentions this book to Yang in RWBY #4, saying it is "about your fear of other people".
- The Vampire Count - Blake mentions this book to Yang in RWBY #4, saying its overall themes are "the fear of the other, contamination and the loss of control over women". The title and description implies it is a pastiche of Dracula.
- Violet's Garden - In "Best Day Ever", Emerald and Mercury enter Tukson's bookstore, whose catchphrase is "Home to every book under the sun." They ask him if he stocks several books, naming specifically Violet's Garden, which he has.
- Yums and Nums - A cookbook Doctor Oobleck gives to Ren after he forgets the ingredients to his recipe in "Mysterious Red Button".
- Weapons Magazine - Ruby is seen reading Issue 228 of a magazine about weapons at From Dust Till Dawn in "Ruby Rose". The back of the book is an advertisement for the Schnee Dust Company. The name of the magazine is probably a pun on "magazines", the ammunition storage device. The back cover of the magazine features an advertisement for the Schnee Dust Company with the slogan "The finest of them all".
- Atlas Mechanics - Oscar Pine is seen reading a magazine while waiting for the "Argus Limited" in the Volume 6 Opening. The cover features an Atlesian Knight-130. The title is probably a reference to Popular Mechanics, a real-life magazine.
- Yang is seen reading a magazine with prosthetics in "Argus Limited".
- X-Ray and Vav - After killing Tukson, Mercury takes a copy of the comic book X-Ray and Vav in "Best Day Ever". In "Welcome to Beacon", Jaune is seen reading the same comic book in the library, before having it stolen away by Pyrrha. The back of the comic book features the same advertisement for the SDC as the Weapons Magazine. X-Ray and Vav is a reference to the Rooster Teeth animated show of the same name.
- Camp Camp - In "The Vacuum", the 6th episode of RWBY Chibi, Ruby is seen reading a comic book entitled Camp Camp, a reference to the Rooster Teeth animated series of the same name. Another Camp Camp comic was read by Oobleck in "Must Be Nice".
Known authors of books include:
- Patty Berdioler is the author of Ninjas of Love, as revealed in "Ruby Makes Cookies", the 1st episode of RWBY Chibi. Her name is visible on the cover of the book. Her name is a reference to Yssa Badiola, an animator at Rooster Teeth. The name Patty means noble woman. Noble is associated by the color red.
- Ursula Berpdioloo is the author of The Man With Two Souls and its sequel, The Man With Two Souls II: The Man With Four Souls (this is a reference to the book Blake was reading in "The Shining Beacon, Pt.2"). Her name appears on the side of her books in "The Vacuum", the 6th episode of RWBY Chibi. Like Patty Berdioler, her name is probably a reference to RWBY Chibi lead animator Yssa Badiola. Ursula means little bear, bringing shades of brown white, and black to mind.
- D.M.A.H.M.L. Prowler is the author of Dealing with Hyperactive Children, seen in "Spin the Bottle", the 13th episode of RWBY Chibi. A Prowler is someone who commits a burglary, a criminal. Criminals are usually associated by the colors black, white, and orange.
- One of the magazines in "Ruby Rose" has an image of "Truth" from Fullmetal Alchemist on the cover.
- Ruby mentions reading an unnamed comic in "Welcome to Haven". Lindsay Jones jokingly revealed that this comic was "Absolute Boyfriend".