I've spent a few weeks trying to justify buying a Kindle. So far there are only two entries in the plus column: storage and techno-fascination. Neither are strong arguments for dropping $300 (or thereabouts) on a new gadget.
The minus column is long and includes many tactile reasons I love books in the first place - the feel of the pages, writing all over the margins, the ability to sling a bad book at a wall and still have an intact, readable book to give away. Now I have the best reason not to own a Kindle: bookplates.
No, I'm not one of those who meticulously labels ownership in each new purchase. I appreciate those who do, though, and love finding an old book with a gorgeous bookplate glued inside the front cover. Oh, the history! Try recreating that, sleek and pricey Kindle.
I've found a bevy of gorgeous bookplates, obsessive collectors, and Etsy recreations. Waste a little time sifting through these sites and luxuriating in the art of the bookplate.
- Oiseaux's Etsy shop is filled with dozens of bookplates sold either blank or personalized.
- Le Coeur Humain's shop is beautifully bizarre source for vintage anatomical art. I plan to buy the uterus bookplates, just because.
- Vintage Necessities only has two designs, but they're art deco classic - a little more gender-neutral than uterine bookmarks - and inexpensive.
For the serious collector there's always The American Society of Bookplate Collectors and Designers. Here, you can actually commission a personal bookplate and the art is stunning. I'm sure the price is, too. It's all about the math, really. How many books and commissioned bookplates can you buy for $300 (or thereabouts)?
Go crazy at Flickr. The Exlibris pool is an ooo-la-la collection of vintage bookplates, and Heraldic is another. My favorite, though, is the Pratt Libraries Ex Libris Collection. These are To. Die. For.
So it looks like my spare change will go elsewhere now. Sorry, Amazon. Until the Kindle is made of magic paper I'll stick with the real pages. It looks like I've got some shopping ahead of me.