Book Rhymes

This is pretty strange, but apparently before the invention of bookplates, there were book rhymes. Something I've never heard of. Here's what Wikipedia has to say on the subject:

A Book rhyme is a short poem or rhyme that was formerly printed inside the front of a book or on the flyleaf to discourage theft or to indicate ownership.
Book rhymes were fairly common in the US during the 18th and 19th centuries, but the printing of bookplates pushed them out of use.

Anti-theft warnings

One of the most common is :
If this book you steal away,
What will you say
On Judgment Day?

Identification rhyme

Everytown is my dwelling-place
America is my nation
John Smith is my name
The end line has several variations,
And Christ is my salvation
And heaven my expectation

Hmmm I prefer bookplates myself but found this interesting. Learn something new everyday, I guess. It would be nice to have an authentic old book with one of these wouldn't it?


ImCrazy4Drew said...

LOVE the first one!

Shelly said...

Hmmm, I think I'm with you. I like the bookplates much better than the rhymes. :o)

Bybee said...

I read this rhyme in Daddy Long-Legs, I think:

"If this book should ever roam,
Box its ears and send it home."

ErinPaperbackstash said...

That's cute =)