18 June 2011

Keeping Track of Books

How often have you lent a favourite book to someone, only to never see it again? Keeping a note of who borrowed which book and when is one way to keep track of them and hopefully get them back. Adding bookplates to the inside of your books is added security against their return. Who wants to have a book belonging to someone else on their bookshelf?

Bookplates are readily available from book shops and stationers, but they can be pricey. Instead of buying them, make your own. There are any number of free templates available, Google "free bookplate templates" and choose the design and style that suits you best. Microsoft Office and Avery Labels also have templates you can download, personalize and print. Personalize your chosen design by changing colours, fonts and font size and adding your name and phone number. Then, to save some work and a little time, print your bookplates straight onto labels and stick them straight into your books.

Here are some free templates you can use:
Martha Stewart - Homemade Bookplates

My Home Library - beautiful bookplates especially for children

How to Design Custom Bookplates


  1. I started using book plates in the 80's. I'd lost several books. Subsequent to that, putting them in my books lent was my rule. I can't say people returned them more frequently but I guess I thought if they ever looked at them they'd feel built.

    Two summers ago I spent part of each evening shelving all my books by author last name. Then I took photos of the shelves close up and entered the title and author of each book into a database. Now when I get a book I enter it's info into the database and when someone borrows one, I note it by date in the record for that book.

    This works very well but more likely not from the borrower's responsibility but from my reminding them.

    OK, this sounds a bit obsessive but I like my books and want to share them and get them back!

  2. Charlene it was in the late 1970's that I started using them too. The company I worked for gave us a $300 a year book allowance - huge money at the time for me.

    Of course, being a book nut, I didn't let that money go to waste and used it to create the start of what I lovingly call my library, what the rest of the family refers to as "mum's pile of books" :)

    I have a database for mine too, just thought I'd break in readers gently and start with something simple and non-threatening to a novice bookworm.

    Spreadsheets and databases are saved for a future TotD :)


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