Book Reviews

Childhood memories: Book Plates & Library Stuff

[Note: Links are provided for your convenience only–I do not make money off them.]


Until 7th grade I was not a big reader. I preferred to have my Mom read to me. One of the many little things my Mom did to encourage me to read was to give me fancy book plates to put in the books I owned. I loved them! It didn’t make me read more, but I sure loved the book plates. Here are some you can buy for your own books.

One summer, in a harbinger of both my future career and of the modern Little Free Library movement, I opened a “library” in my bedroom. I had my neighborhood friends fill out a proper check out card (well, a hand drawn one) and gave the books due dates–I even used my Dad’s old price stamp to put the dates on! This, of course, was before I learned about the essential division of responsibilities between professionals and paraprofessionals in a library setting. That was also the last time I loaned books willingly! Even with my precious book plates in them, some never came back.



Horchow’s personal library embosser let’s you permanently imprint your library’s name on any page. Please don’t do this to first editions or rare books–they will lose value.





Today there are all sorts of book plates, book embossers, and library-centric gifts. It’s been a long time since I “devalued” my books by putting anything like a label on them, though. If you have thoughts of reselling books, don’t write in them or put stickers or embossings. When I buy used books I’m always wary of ones marked “Ex Library” in the online listings. Not because I fear theft–I don’t buy rare books and libraries usually get rid of books that don’t circulate. Shelf space is too expensive for that these days. No, I fear ex-library books because the labels don’t come off easily if they were heat sealed. Here are some fun library items you might enjoy.



Personal Library Kit. Be sure to hand out copies of your fine and recall policies.







Here are some book plates for those who enjoy calligraphy. These just seem to require a fine fountain pen, don’t they? Antiquarian Bookplates.





Here’s a lovely idea–a special plate for books given to a baby for his or her first library. Great baby shower idea. Available on Etsy.

Esty has a large array of handmade and custom designed items, including book plates and book stamps.




Do you use an embosser or book plates? Do you enjoy library–ish stuff? Tell me about it–I love comments.







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