Ex libris labels, or bookplates, which are little works of art placed on the inside cover of a book, displaying the book owner’s name accompanied by an image or sketch ranging from kitschy to bizarre, are much harder to find than I would have ever imagined. I thought I’d just waltz into Barnes and Noble and grab some from an array of choices. Not quite. They had only ONE KIND (!) which left my I-want-to-know-about-everything-that-is-out-there curiosity unsatiated. A search turns up copious amounts of collected images. The best I’ve found for purchase since then are handmade bookplates on etsy.
I suppose bookplates fall into the category of items that are still around, but with a rareness that you can already feel them slipping away, which makes them seem a little bit more special, worthy of a moment of appreciation. Conventional telephones, film cameras, and even stamps come to mind in this category. Will books, pens, and notebooks follow? Nothing can duplicate the smell of a book, old or new, or the sound of a pencil scratching on paper.