Monday, June 16, 2014

Literary Love

A few volumes of my own book collection.
From a very young age I have loved books. There are pictures of me with book in hand before I could read. Once I could read, I did it with vigor. My sister and I would get up early just to read before school. I read all summer long, traveling to places far and not so far, real and imaginary. 

If all of my childhood reading was not enough, I studied history for my undergraduate degree, reading a plethora of books and articles. I delved into the past, peering at what those who came before us left behind. I have moved on to graduate school, where reading is a large part of my work. Then I began collecting books, adding to my modest collection of remnants. Some books I chose for their looks. Such beautiful designs, swirling colors, smooth leather. Some I chose because they are old friends. I love the comfort of living with familiar books on my shelves. Some were gifts, some needed a home; some are new and some are old, but all are treasures. 

Many readers these days are shifting to electronic devices. They have their place, I admit. That place just happens to be far from my bookshelves! I happily remain old fashioned and refuse to give up my printed books. Nothing can replace the feel of a spine, the turn of a page, and the smell of paper aging thoughtfully and slow. 

Fraktur book plates for sale.
In the past, those with the urge to draw would do so on the very pages of books. Paper was a precious commodity then, and hard for most to obtain. Old tomes usually had blank pages, and so many frakturs have been found etched into the very life of a book. These artists incorporated their names in some cases, and others just illustrated the extra paper with vivid color and designs. 

Fraktur bookplates for sale.
My delight in hard copies of books led me to design my own fraktur bookplates. You can put your own name on these and place them in books to claim them as your own. Or use them as part of a gift-I always put my friends’ names in the books I give them. I have always enjoyed seeing a record of past owners in my older volumes. These and several other designs will be available online for purchase soon. I will have a page on Rebekah L. Smith’s new website with work for sale. I will let you know when that launches. In the meantime, you can contact me if you are interested in purchasing something.

“Writing your name in a book and the date upon which you acquired it is more than just an assertion of ownership. It is a milepost in time,” says Julia Keller, in a delightful article that can be found here. These bookplates are a way for you to tuck your own name into the pages of history.


  1. Such insight you have . . . a truly beautiful post!
    Lori Ann

  2. Huge book lover here...absolutely love your fraktur bookplates...beautiful work.