Vintage books live again as journals

exlibrisFor a couple years now, I have been a big fan of a website called Ex Libris Anonymous, run by Jacob  Deatherage, at  It’s served as my source for work notebooks, and I always try to have a selection on hand for quick little gifts.  For example, I’ve given some Dr. Seuss and alphabet primer themed journals to my kids’ grade school teachers at the end of the school year.

These notebooks are made out of old hardback books that would otherwise simply be destroyed.  There’s a great array to choose from, which makes them versatile as a gift, and like any good bookstore, fun to browse through.  The books are $14 each, and if you buy five, you get a sixth free.  I always get six.  Each is one of a kind; when you add it to your shopping cart, it’s reserved for you, for a limited time.

Each notebook is sectioned, and each section is separated by a few actual pages from the original book.  One of the coolest things about these is when there are little hand-scrawled notes, or old library stamps, or every now and then an old advertisement that was found between the pages.


“A Miscalculated Risk”, one of my book journal acquisitions. No doubt it was a cautionary tale…



I want to mention some other cool little journals of a slightly different nature, Field Notes, modeled after the kind farmers carry to note crop rotations and such:

and here are Maddy and Colin, discussing the proper applications of Field Notes:

The kids took their Field Notes journals to a little hiking expedition we did when their Aunt was in town visiting.  This was a couple years ago, and both the kids and the Aunt have checked back with me multiple times since then to make sure I still had the Field journals so that we could add to them the next time we go on a nature expedition.  I was just looking back on their notes and drawings as I wrote this blog post, and it was a very special way to preserve those memories.

Writing stuff down is more valuable than ever.  Get yourself some cool journals and make the presentation as “you” as the memories.

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One Response so far.

  1. […] get to show that you know your recipient and what they’re into. For example, a friend bought an Ex Libris journal just the other day that was librarian-themed, for a librarian friend of hers who was retiring. […]

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