Ex Libris bookplates

Accurate instinct, gwendee - celebrity (famous, regardless of what book the plate is in) or association (the owner was someone associated with the book, author, topic, etc…) plates can enhance the value of the book. Celebrity book collectors (Harpo Marx and Vincent Price are two well-known ones, as was the film director George Cukor) put bookplates in their books, and those bookplates enhance the value of the book.

For the most part, however, first edition values are decidedly diminished by bookplates otherwise.

A last off-topic digresson - some people just collect bookplates, either within books or unused. They collect based on the artists, a theme (e.g., bookplates with detective fiction-related drawings on them of guns, private detectives, skulls, etc., or gothic bookplates - you get the idea), celebrity bookplates, you name it - some can be pretty valuable…

More power to you, friedo - use it and enjoy. But if you choose to, please do avoid using that on a first edition that might have any value - blindstamping (what book-types call it when an embosser is used to mark a book page) really knocks down the value of a first…

Of course, for some of us, it’s the opposite problem.

Personally, I don’t intend to re-sell my books. I may not buy a huge number of books, but the ones I do have, I want to keep (and, frankly, I don’t care what happens to them after I’m dead). I think using an embosser is kind of like having your VIN number engraved on your car windows. If an embosser ruins my books’ resale value, that’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

One less reason for people to steal my books.

Don’t worry. I don’t have any fancy rare first edition stuff. Even if I saw one of a book I really liked, I probably wouldn’t get it because I’d be afraid of messing it up from reading it. I just like to use it on my hardback books, which can be somewhat expensive. (Hardbacks make up most of my collection, since I hate paperbacks.)

Dear God, thank you!!!

I’ve been looking for one of those, but didn’t know what it was called, so, as you can imagine, it severely limited my abilities in searching.

“I’m looking for one of those things . . . you know . . . that you can press your name in the paper?”

Blank stare. I leave the store, feeling foolish.

WordMan Pretty much all our books are post 1950. Mostly we collect writers we like, mostly fiction. The bookshelf is alphabetized and behind me so let me take a look, we have a bit of:Clive Barker, Stephen Baxter, Larry Brown, William Burroughs, Jonathan Carroll,Pete Dexter, Umberto Eco, Bruce Chatwin. That’s a few on the section behind me. We also have five boxes of books we hope to eventually get to a couple of bookstores.

Most of my Carrolls are signed,a couple of the O. S. Cards, some of the Anne Rice, several of the Lawerence Blocks, several of the James Lee Burke’s. *

asterion You’d be surprised at how much a Harry Potter book could be worth. Go to abebooks.com and punch in J.K.Rowling. I have a the first four books in collectors editions, 3 are 1rst, the other is a second printing, it would cost about $1000.00 to buy them now. I bought the first three in London several years ago for maybe $60.00.

  • Can’t think too clearly right now have a killer headache

asterion, I have several packs of bookplates that I’d be willing to send you if you want them (leftover stock from my now defunct bookselling business). I’ve got one with a dolphin painting and several with Boris Vallejo (SF/F artist), ST:NG crew, Garfield and Native American designs. There’s thirty in a pack, and IIRC they all have space for a name.

Drop me an e-mail with your address if you’re interested.