browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

‘This Book Belongs to” Bookplate Freebie

Posted by on November 30, 2015
Nigel-Winterbottom-ExLibris-72

Bookplate design of Divéky József, 1914

Are you the type of person who notices the “This Book Belongs to…” artwork found in old books?

These little ownership marker bookplates sometimes include the Latin phrase Ex Libris, which literally translates to “from/out of the books.”

I’ve always dreamed of one day having an Edwardian-esque library with bookshelves from floor to ceiling. You know the type. It must include one of those rolling ladders where you can hop on and gleefully slide around the parameter of the room. And most importantly, it has to be complete with a large collection of leather bound books, each one containing ornate label bookplates in varying designs that say “This Book Belongs to Constance Keene” inside. It’s the first purchase I will make when I hit the lottery (which will be never since I don’t play).

One of my favorite pastimes in my super exciting inner life is to wonder about the names listed in particular old books, and imagine what the people who owned them might have been like in real life.  Take this bookplate at right.

Let’s see… Nigel Winterbottom is a bookworm of the extreme sort. He’s in love with academia and reading, destined to be a forever bachelor because he will never find a companion who holds his interest the way that books do. He has little wire-framed glasses and has been prematurely bald since he was 11 years old.

Poor Nigel! I mustn’t judge. He was probably a very happy person, really. People aren’t bookends. We don’t have to always be in pairs. I mustn’t think too much of him or I’ll spend the rest of my Sunday evening rooting through my books for a librarian spinster companion to make his acquaintance. Like Vivian Lightbloom, for example. She would be perfect, by the way. But who has the time for such nonsense?

Well, I do. In spades right now. But it wouldn’t be prudent to spend it setting up imaginary lovelorn Victorians. Instead, maybe I’ll play the lottery so I finally can get my library.


Here are a few Bookplates I might use when I hit the jackpot.

(Just right click, save as to download.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.