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Tuesday 7 August 2012

This Book Belongs To: The Best Bookplates

I'm usually quite laid back about lending out my books and never expecting them back. There's something lovely about the thought of books making their way round the world, passed from hand to hand.

There have been noticeable exceptions to this. My hardback fashion books for example. Or my dad's first edition Penguin Catcher in the Rye - possibly the most hipster thing I have ever owned. I lent it to a friend who took it to South America. She lent it to a friend over there and now ... I just don't know where it is (hopefully hanging out with Paddington in deepest darkest Peru). It's times like that I wished I'd invested in bookplates: a clear signal that you want something back, even if they aren't stamped with a return date. Here are some of my favourite bookplates, the ones I consider worthy of gracing my favourite books.

If I was as fanatical about baking as I was about reading, I'd definitely invest in the cake bookplates shown at the top of the post. They're £4.95 for a set of twelve from Papermash. In fact, as I type this I've looked over and seen a cake book sitting on my kitchen shelf that was loaned to me by my friend over a year ago. She's going to get that back, plus the bookplates to apologise for the cheeky booknapping on my part.

These bookplates are sold in my place of work and I've bought them many a time for the birthdays of bookish friends, including that of our very own Siany actually. If Siany is now looking away, I can reveal you get 80 labels for only £3.50 from the V&A Shop. (I bought her other stuff too.)

If you're prepared to pay a little bit more, these personalised blue bird bookplates are gorgeous. The design is based on a vintage hymn book but I'm sure will look just as good inside your favourite piece of fiction. Made by Oiseaux and available through her Etsy store, a set of 24 costs approximately £10.68 with postage from the States a further £2.63. You can even get a matching print.

Or, if you live a rock n roll lifestyle that stretches as far as your bookplates, surely this Little Rockers set is the one for you. Made by London-based Keneka and again sold through Etsy, you get six plates (three featuring this girl, three with a boy) for £3.29. My favourite kind of musical note.


  1. I want to love bookplates, I do. But there's something about sticking something into the cover of a book that really bugs me. I'd feel like I'd ruined it.

  2. you put them INSIDE the book cover!!

  3. I agree with Siany, the thought of sticking something into the cover of a book is almost as bad as folding the page corners as markers...

  4. Really, that's so interesting. I don't have any issues with sticking anything into a book, especially when it's as pretty as one of these bookplates. Perhaps it's because my day job is working with books and I get to play around with them a lot...? I love it when you find a secondhand book and it's got an old bookplate in it. Or old scribbles in the margin.

    1. I love finding the original owner's signature in old books....handwriting was so much more elegant in the 'old days'!

  5. These are lovely. I think I need a larger collection of bookplates, so that I can actually USE some! It's one of those things I keep because they're so nice, when actually they were made to be used!

  6. Thanks for mentioning my shop! And Sian, I sort of agree! Sshh... I like decorating plain notebooks with them though.


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