What is a Bookplate?

One of my more popular products in my Thoughts and Designs Zazzle store is my collection of custom bookplates. The question does come up from time to time, however, “What is a bookplate?”

So, What is a Bookplate?

A bookplate is basically a custom book label or sticker that you stick inside of the front cover of any book in your personal home library.

Most of the time bookplates include the Latin phrase, Ex Libris. I’d define ex libris to mean “From the library of”. In other words, the meaning of ex libris is, “This book came from so and so’s collection”. Ex libris doesn’t mean an actual library.

Why Would I Need a Bookplate?

The reason why someone might need a bookplate is to simply let others know that this book is originally from your collection, just in case someone borrows your book and forgets.

This has happened to me before.  So embarrassing.

I borrowed a book from a friend of mine, and it somehow just became part of the landscape of my bookshelf. It belonged there, you know?

I’m not even sure how it came to be on my bookshelf, as I normally try to keep the property of others off of my shelves. I would assume that someone else in the house saw the book lying on the end table, and decided to put it “away” when cleaning up.

It’s amazing how often people clean up things that really don’t need to be cleaned up while stepping over things that probably should be cleaned up. But I digress.

When Can I Buy Custom Bookplates?

Well, obviously, I’d prefer if you shopped at my Zazzle store, here. I have several beautiful Ex Libris Designs and bookplate templates.  You just pick out the bookplate template you love and enter the name you’d like it customized with, and Zazzle will print those up on a sheet and send them to you. They come 20 “this book belongs to” labels to a sheet.  This saves you from having to buy blank stickers, line them up, and print them off yourself.

If you’re more of a do-it-yourselfer who is low on cash, I also have several of my bookplate designs available for free download on my website. Be forewarned that some assembly is required with that option, of course.

Many bookstores sell bookplates too.  I’ve seen them at our local Barnes and Nobel Bookseller. Personally, I think my custom bookplate templates are prettier. I may be biased.


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