Bookplates or ex libris (from the library of) date back to the fifteenth century. They are typically a small decorative label pasted on the inside front cover of a book to indicate the owner. The earliest known examples began in Germany and soon spread throughout the world. Only the wealthiest people could afford personal libraries and thus owned these elaborate labels. Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie ventures in the many different designs created over the years. Today, their use has quite differed.
Bookplates have become a useful tool for promotional reasons. They also provide a much easier and cheaper way to own your favorite author’s autograph. Recently, Anne Rice gave away three autographed bookplates just for signing up for her newsletter. I signed up and now a proud owner of Anne Rice’s signature.
Designing your own is fairly easy as well. Websites such as Microsoft Word, Martha Stewart, HP Printer, and Avery Label all offer templates that are easy to manipulate. However, if you’re looking make one from scratch, try Elsa Neal’s “How to Create Your Own Bookplate” article at The Blood-Red Pencil or Chérie De Sues “This Book Belongs to: Making a bookplate” courtesy of the Examiner.com. Both provide adequate steps for creating your own bookplate.