Ex Libris bookplates

Well, a couple of questions.

  1. How many people use these in their books?

  2. Where is a good place where I could buy some? Preferably tasteful, although they are just going mostly in my textbooks at first and other things later.

Me! I love 'em. Mainly only for my nicer books, since they aren’t cheap and I have a lot of books.

Barnes and Noble, the evil empire of bookdom, stocks them. They’re pricey and generically tasteful. My favorites have generally been from somewhere else. If you have better bookstores in your area, try them too, or paper/stationery stores maybe.

You may be able to get nice images online and print them out yourself, too. For fun versions, try www.myhomelibrary.org, which features tons of free images drawn by well-known children’s authors.

I generally just slap return address labels in my books, but I have made some lovely “print shop special” bookplates for others. I’e seen nice ones at both Borders and Waldenbooks, though.

Assuming I went to a B&M store, would they print them personalized with my name? I thought about getting online ones, but in my experience such things aren’t very good, even with a high quality laser printer.

Try Colorful Images. I see only a few that actually say “Ex Libris,” but maybe one of the designs is to your liking.

No, they come in packets and you write your name in. It never occured to me to look for anyone who would put my name on it, but you can get your name on anything, so I’m sure someone would. (Sadly, I don’t like the images at Scarlett’s link. Sigh.) I suppose the online ones aren’t as good as real printed ones, but they’re drawn by people like Quentin Blake!

What is a bookplate?

Maud, it’s a label, generally somewhat fancy, that people put in their books. Generally, it’s the nicer ones and they often wind up on the inside cover. Now, if I were to do this with my textbooks, I generally couldn’t put it on the inside cover because half the time the cover has some sort of quick reference data, so for me I’d be using the first flyleaf.

Thanks. I’ll take a look.

Oh, I didn’t mean that they had to have Ex Libris. I just like saying it, and it seemed like a good way to make the title more informative.

Antioch Bookplates used to be the company that sold them through bookstores. They’re pricey, but I used to buy them.

I eventually realized that “ex libris” meant “from the books (of)…”, and you were supposed to put your name after it, ideally in Lation possessive form. Then I figured that if I had to write in each plate, why was I buying pre-made bookplates that didn’t have my name already in them? I drew up my own bookplate design (with my name on it) , had it photoreduced, and turned into a rubber-stamp bookplate, which is what I now use.

Don’t do it!

Hubby and I collect first editions and it is always painful to find the book you’ve been searching for only to discover that someone has slapped a bookplate in it.

Don’t sign your name in the book.

If it’s a first edition and you ever decide to sell the book, it could knock the value down a fair bit.

When you get your book signed by the writer unless you are famous, just get the signature.

If you want to do something special for your books, put brodart covers on them but do not tape the cover to the book!!!

catnoe, as I’ve never in my life owned a first edition of anything besides a craft book, I promise never to slap my bookplate into one.

However, I reserve the right to write, paste stickers, dog ear, drool upon and otherwise deface any of my paperbacks whenever I wanna.

They’ve got the neatest personal library kit your book here:
Well okay they’re not really ex libris plates but it’s so neat to be able to outfit your books like the way public libraries do.

I used to use Ex Libris plates in my books, but nowadays I use a nameseal I had made in Xi’an, China. It’s made of stone and has my first name in English and my last name phonetically spelled out in Chinese.

LifeOnWry - no problem then, do what you will to the paperbacks unless they are pre-1960 pulp fiction especially sci-fi writers, alot of them were originally published in PB, some of them are quite pricey these days.

Alot of the times I read a book in PB then hunt for it in First Edition if I like it and if it’s really good I keep the PB for re-reading and the First Edition for my future bookstore.

Another first edition collector here - catnoe gives good advice if the book is, in fact, a first edition. Otherwise, put the bookplate in.

[hijack] So, catnoe - what’cha collect? What are some of your titles? I collect mostly Lit, mostly after 1950 (some Hemingway, Catch-22, review copy of Confederacy of Dunces, a few other real high spots), some Sci-fi (e.g., Dune, Foundation Trilogy), and some Crime (e.g., Elmore Leonard signed firsts). What do you have. Email for a more direct conversation if you’d prefer. I will try to check this thread this weekend, too. [/hijack]

Wouldn’t a bookplate be sort of like the provenance of a painting. Would a bookplate diminish or increase the value if the name on it were, for example Eleanor Roosevelt?

Now, back to the OP’s topic. If you have a good printer why not make your own? Avery makes printable labels in all sorts of sizes. Also, for my son’s books I have a rubber stamp (purchased at a craft shop. ) It came with a tiny alphabet to affix so I could include his name. Of course Winnie the Pooh might be appropriate for some of your loftier texts.

Asterion, you may want to find a local calligrapher who can create a set of custom-made bookplates for you. They would be personalized with your name, and since you’re the one approving the design, you’d make sure that they’d be tasteful.

Years ago, when I did a lot of calligraphy (I don’t any more), I’d occasionally have people asking me for custom bookplates. I’d do a few sketches and/or designs, they would choose one, and I would then do the camera-ready work that they could take to a printing house.

I don’t know what a calligrapher might charge nowadays, but it might be something more to look into. You can usually find calligraphers through local art schools or sometimes even in the Yellow Pages. And probably through Web searches now too.

Thanks for the warning, but who collects first-edition (by which I mean the first edition was printed in the 90s or later) chemistry textbooks? Even some of the other books I’m thinking of putting them in are definitely not first editions, or if they are, it doesn’t matter due to the huge production numbers (really, how rare are Harry Potter adult version books going to be?)

I got a customized book embosser from Stampco. Way cooler than bookplates, IMO. And their motto is “because everyone needs at least one stamp.”