Lithub looks at a brief history of bookplates. Loved these when I was a kid. Would have DIED to have a personalized one. Now, I think…. what would happen if my friends found their book in a used bookstore with my bookplate inside? It’s bad enough when you find a signed copy in a used shop. I think it would sting more to find one with a pretentious bookplate in there as well.
Every book lover knows that books borrowed often become books lost. Perhaps you loaned a book to an excitable guest, knowing full well that she will never again grace your doorstep? Have you, out of politeness, let a precious tome slip from your grasp? Or worse, done the same to others by inadvertently failing to return books that now live comfortably among your more legitimately acquired volumes?