The Sunday Salon: Bookplates

In the way that other people often dream of their weddings, I dream of my ultimate library. The centennary editions of Tolkien displayed lovingly on a shelf by themselves, the wall to wall shelving (a dark wood, but not black, I think), and the filing system–fiction on one wall, nonfiction on another, alphabetically organized. There’ll either be a roaring fireplace or a wide window, depending on the space and what level the library is on. And each book will have a bookplate, neatly pasted on the very first page (hardbacks) or the inside cover (paperbacks), declaring that it comes from my library.

My college library is the first place I’ve encountered actual bookplates in each book, but I’m quite taken with the concept of them. Not only do they state that these books are mine and keep books from being borrowed and then absorbed into others’ book collections, but they also do it in style. There’s just something official about them that I like.

There’s several ways to get your hands on your very own bookplates. has luxurious customized kits available, which not only include your bookplates, but a can of archive quality Italian adhesive as well–and these start at $90 for a kit of 125 bookplates. Bookplate Ink offers many more styles which are a bit more affordable–generic bookplates without personalization start at $30 for 50, while personalized bookplates start at $50 or $60. These bookplates are also essentially stickers, which makes using them a bit easier. They also offer a service that allows you to put your own art on your bookplate, which many organizations take advantage of, according to them.

But nothing beats free, and there are plenty of lovely printable bookplates available online. However, most of these are aimed at the little ones–something about getting them to read with the lure of bookplates, I suppose. But none of those suit my library at all. Martha Stewart has three very classy (and small) bookplates available on her website, and ImageZoo has a handful of cute bookplates with prints that are appropriate for all ages. And here’s a bookplate that’s perfect for gifting books. Me being me, I’m probably going to design my own bookplates when the day comes, but I feel all these places are great places to start.

In other news, the The Lord of the Rings Rewatch went off without a hitch–a friend of mine had to bow out, but two of us remained and braved all eleven hours and twenty minutes of the extended editions in a single day. I’ll post more about it later this week–most likely a post just about the rewatch and then a Page to Screen review. As far as actual reading goes, I’m working my way through Friday Night Lights, which is absolutely fascinating to me, as a person who absolutely does not understand sports at all. It’s like a whole different planet.

What do you think of bookplates? Have you used them? Do you like them?

Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, especially my wonderful mother.

9 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: Bookplates

  1. Wow, those are some snazzy bookplates, but it’s embossing that I dream of. No sticky glue to deal with, but equally classy.

    Glad to hear the LOTR rewatch went well. I’m sure I’ll watch the movies again someday, but I’m still enjoying letting the books percolate in my mind.

    • Oh, embossing! Lovely.

      I enjoyed it; I was watching it with a dear friend who knows her films like I know my Zelda, so it was even more enjoyable. (She pointed out Elrond’s face when Arwen goes to Aragorn at the end; I commenced bawling even more.)

  2. I used bookplates as a kid but have not committed as an adult, for the same reason I could never get a tattoo: the impossibility of choosing just ONE design. But I do tend to write my name inside any book I intend to keep.

    Glad the LOTR watch party went well. That’s probably worth a repeat every so often.

  3. I think it’s so funny that you compared dreaming of your ultimate library to dreaming about a wedding. While in grade school, I started designing my library. I never thought about a wedding, pretty convinced at the time that I would never get married as I didn’t see the point. Over the years, my perfect library has changed drastically, but still it is what I dream about. 🙂

  4. I love bookplates! My only reservation is that once I’ve put a bookplate in a book, I feel like I’m stuck with that book for life. So I’ll stick bookplates into books I know I’ll want forever, but I waffle over books that I love slightly less. Oh, and also, sometimes these books with fancy endpapers don’t have any blank space for a bookplate. I normally end up writing my name very small in the top corner in those cases, and dispensing with bookplates. Sigh.

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