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In spite of my spouse and friends turning to Kindle and Nook, I am determined to hang on to my home library. I actually should say home “libraries,” since I have bookcases in both my apartment in the city and house. I love my books. I am never without one. Even when I was on canoe trips in the Alaska wilderness I packed along at least one book to read by the campfire at the end of the day’s travel.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal on bookplates got me to thinking about designing one of my own.

Bookplates had their start in the 15th century, and by the 1800s many artists and designers were making their own plates. There were very individual–playful, dark, or inspired by a particular event. Bookplates are works of art in their own right. You can see some examples here.

My bookplate design will incorporate the “Blue Duck” icon I use for myself.   (Blue Duck is the name of my kayak.)   I also thought I wanted something different than “Ex Libris.”   Sticking with Latin, I decided on “Ostium” – a word meaning “doorway,” or “entrance” or “(river) mouth.”   This pretty much describes what a book is for me.

What would your bookplate look like?



3 thoughts on “Bookplates

  1. Lew, I visited your blog and liked it a lot. I’ll be sure to send you a sample bookplate as soon as it is done, and would love one of yours in exchange. Thanks so much – and keep up the good work in keeping this wonderful literary tradition alive.

  2. Ooh, what wondrous timing. I’m just starting the process for putting together my own bookplates, but to giveaway to readers to celebrate my new book in September. All I know is I want to find a way to incorporate a haunted Scottish castle. So THANK YOU for the link – you couldn’t have helped more this afternoon. Of course, that’s what y’all do best…

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