Ex Libris Journal

  • $16.95


Is there a more revealing glimpse into a reader’s personality and interests than the contents of his or her bookshelf? On a more intimate level, perhaps his or her personal bookplate—one of those small, personalized artworks pasted into books as marks of ownership. 
 
This lightly lined clothbound journal features sixty full-color vintage bookplates, including those of luminaries such as Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Greta Garbo, Bing Crosby, Harry Houdini, Jacqueline Onassis, Edith Wharton, Robert Frost, and John Fowles.

Especially intriguing: Albert Einstein’s bookplate, based on a doodle he drew in 1917, and Sigmund Freud’s, which reads in Greek: “Behold who solved the enigma and was the most powerful among men.” There are bookplates for a museum library, Windsor Castle, and the Hotel Pennsylvania (“Before television existed, many hotels had reading rooms stocked with books.”) The bookplates bearing Salvador Dali and Greta Garbo comes with a disclaimer: “This may be an ‘honorarium Ex Libris—a term used when a designer creates a bookplate for a celebrity without his or her knowledge. Many bookplate designers, to this day, engage in this sort of shell game.”
Perfectly sized to toss in your bag for book group or to take to your favorite cafe, this journal is as appealing to the lover of ephemera and graphic design as it is to the bibliophile. A tipped-on bookplate and a ribbon marker complete this charming notebook.
 
Also included is “A Brief History of Bookplates,” which will kindle or renew appreciation for these small literary tools, and informational footnotes about each bookplate, including, when known, the name of the designer.
 
Bookplates were first used during the age of Gutenberg: “The printed book proliferated, and with it came the first bookplates: small, personalized artworks, usually printed, that were pasted into books as marks of ownership. A bookplate is sometimes called an Ex Libris in reference to the Latin inscription meaning from the books of found on most examples.
4.75" × 6.5" 
216 PAGES
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