Personalizing Books: To Stamp or Not to Stamp

When I was in school (especially in junior high) I always had trouble with people stealing my books. I never really understood why my bullies snatched them since most of them had the IQ of a rock and probably couldn't decipher what those strange symbols (a.k.a. letters) covering the pages were. Okay, okay enough of me bashing my 'peers' from school and onto the point of this post...

Since I had trouble sometimes proving that a book was mine my mom came up with the idea for me to stamp the back of my books. I know what you're thinking 'How could you!? You're totally ruining the pristine condition of the book!' Well that's what I thought when my mom first suggested it to me, but when I got to high school and was finally fed up defending that I was actually the true owner of a book I decided that maybe my mom was onto something.

So one day we went to the craft store and picked out a stamp that I wouldn't mine being forever printed in the back of my books. When we got back I then spent the rest of my Saturday afternoon stamping a tree on the inside back cover of my books.

Then the next time someone had taken my book and the teacher was all 'How do I know this book really doesn't belong to Jack, Katie?' And instead of reciting the plot, characters, themes, favorite parts and why they should truly be ashamed that they haven't read it to prove it was mine I just went 'Hey Jack, what's in the back cover?' to which he responded 'Durrr *hair flip* what?' And then it was back in my hands! Yes!

Now that I'm in college I, thankfully, don't really have to worry about people jacking my books anymore so I haven't really been stamping them. Most of the books I've gotten in the past year or so haven't been stamped either since I was home-schooled my senior year. I mean I really doubt my dog would have stolen my books and if he did I'm pretty sure I would have found it buried in the backyard by now.

Do you do anything to personalize your books?
Do you think my stamping the inside of the back cover ruins it?
Let me know in the comments!


  1. LOL! I have the same problem. I'm fairly certain the children at my school speak the same language yours did. Also, that is such a fantastic idea! I don't really like writing my name in the covers, but stamping seems like an awesome tactic.

  2. My name, all caps, blue sharpie, inside front cover.

  3. I actually really like the idea of the stamp because it's not so ... I don't know, it's not so tacky looking as writing your name.. and even a book plate (unless it's an author signed one) can look kind of bad. I don't personally do anything to my books, but if I did I really like the idea of a stamp. Also, I can't believe people would take your books! Geeze, people are weird.

  4. oh my gosh, i'm sorry you had such a problem with people stealing your books, that is horrible!!!

    I think stamping is a great idea for proving that it's yours!!

  5. That is such a cute idea. I think it's kind of nice to have proof that a book is yours. To KNOW you own it. And that stamp is not a bad way to go. I may do this... Thanks Katie!

  6. Stealing books?
    I've never heard of such a thing.
    You're mom sounds like one smart lady.
    Stamping is pretty, doesn't detract from the book, and marks it as yours. While I've never employed it, I love this idea.

  7. Definitely does NOT ruin it! I used a sharpie to write my name on all of my classroom books so that my kiddos couldn't actually walk away with them. Did it make the books prettier? Uh, no. Did it keep them coming back to my shelf? Yes! And that's more important than pretty. But your stamp is super pretty and keeps track of your books! Score.

  8. Hey Riley! Hahaha! The language of the Herp Derp lol! I'm the same way, I hate my chicken scratch handwriting so I don't like writing my name on covers either. Thank you! :)

    Hi thinkellen! That's a good idea, definitely bold and stands out so you know it's yours!

    Hey Ashley! Aw thank you! I was hoping it wouldn't look tacky so I'm glad to hear that! I know right, I'm like keep your hands off of my books if you want to survive LOL :)

    Hey Carrie! Aw thank you ! :)

    Hey Kare! Thanks! I love thinking of it that way, "know you own it" love it! Ooo awesome, let me know if you do, I want to see the pretty stamp! :)

    Hey Juju! My high school was full of gems like that haha :) Aw thanks Juju!

    Hi Katie! My best friend growing up did that too and she also never had trouble with losing books! If I had better handwriting I'd totally be doing the same thing! Thanks Katie :)

  9. GAHHHH THAT IS HORRIFYING!!!! Hahaha kidding! Okay sort of....

    I definitely do not write in my books, or stamp my books, or do anything to mark my territory on my books. I'm one of those book nazi's whose like "DON'T LAY A PEN ON THAT PAGE!" I know, I'm sort of crazy.... That being said when I was little I actually did love those stickers that said "This book belongs to" and then there was space to put your name. I never owned any of the stickers myself but I loved the idea of it. But now? No way.

    That is so terrible that people used to book snatch from you though! Gosh your highschool sounds awful. I've never heard of that happening from any of my public schooled friends. :(

  10. this is suche great idea! And I love the tree. It adds a little touch. a little something. dreamy.

  11. Oh. My Goodness. YOU (and you mom) ARE A GENIUS!

    In currently in high school and a bunch of my friends are borrowing my books. I HATE writing my name in my books but this idea is PERFECT!!!

  12. I have book plates in my favourite books, or sometimes I just write my name neatly inside the front cover, but usually I don't bother personalising my books. I love the stamp idea - very cute and that tree doesn't look out of place inside the back cover, I think.

  13. It's funny you posted this, because I was just thinking about how to label my books so my students don't walk away with them. I've got a cute Hello Kitty stamp that might become my identifier, thanks for the idea.

    PS. Happy to have found you through Katie's blog!