Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Home library

I need some advice.

For awhile I've mulled the idea of having some sort of library stamp made for my home library. There are three routes to go that I've seen online. One is a sticker that I could buy in bulk as blanks and print myself. Another route is a rubber stamp (preferably self inking) that I'd have made. The other option is an embosser like the one shown here:

There are pros and cons to each option. With the sticker I could either go with something small and keep the text simple or go with something larger and have room for either a graphic or some other information. But this seems to be the least professional looking of the three options.

The stamp and the embosser are both things that I would have to decide how I wanted it to be for all time. Once I have it made I'm stuck with it until I tire of it enough that I'd get a replacement. The sticker allows the flexibility to change over time. I'm not sure I want to change but its something to think about.

Then there is the fact that all three options are permanent. Do I want to mark up my books in a permanent way? Right now I often write in pencil when I read the book or leave post-its inside the front cover with questions for future research. These can be removed quite easily. Then I've heard that as a book ages the embossed pages deteriorate worse than a stamped page.

Has anyone out there done this to their library? Any tips?


Anonymous said...

One of my professors in college had a novel way of indicating his collection. He had a "plate" (which I guess is a fancy sticker when you really get down to it) he would place in all his books. It had a wood cut drawing of a hangman holding up the tool of his trade, with the caption, "This book is one thing, this halter is the another. He who steals one will be sure of the other."

Michael Hardy said...

Nick – I have an embosser and I really like it. The embossing is about the size of a silver dollar.

TPS said...


Stop. Back away from the keyboard.

Do not emboss your books. It drops the value. Signed author plates are one thing. Owner's marks (unless you are a famous guy) are a no-no.