slide show


In decades and centuries past, knowing who owned which book was an obvious matter of opening it. Pasted on the inside front cover would be the bookplate: a unique rectangular label bearing the owner's name, perhaps an illustration, and often the Latin words "Ex Libris" — a phrase used all over the world to mean “from the library of.” Today it is still possible to find books adorned with these exquisitely civilized and personal labels. Many of them are in old, inherited collections. Sometimes they can be found in used bookstores, standing on the shelves among the other veterans. And occasionally, they can even be seen in the personal libraries of those modern readers and writers who cherish their collections as booklovers from long ago.