Saturday, 5 May 2012
Book plates , I have many. I used to use them to distinguish one child's book from another's. All of my children have their own set of Roald Dahl's, C.S.Lewis's 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe series and complete set of Beatrix Potter's. They also have books I have given them to mark each birthday up to 10 years old.
Preferring not to lend my books, yes I know it is selfish ; I feel I have no need to identify my books as belonging to me. Sadly I worry about broken spines, turned down pages and loss of loved editions. I would rather give a new copy of a fabulous read than part with my own. So the paper book plates need to find another use. Now I use these book plates for price tags for my charity sales or for gift tags.
The book plates that I am more interested in are the ones that accompany my reading. Books and food are a favourite combination of mine. I always need a drink and a snack with a read. I like to display my reading companions for consumption on or in beautiful vessels and I see no reason not to have a collection or variety of book plates. Some people may dress for dinner and have an outfit for every occasion, it seems to me that there is a lot of fun in finding the perfect plate to fit the title. The only requirement is that they are china ones rather than paper. So here are a small selection of my current book plates.
For 'Rebecca' by Daphne Du Maurier, this Barratt's Delphatic white plate with its regatta scene to accompany the boat in the cove. Whilst meeting Rebecca, Mrs Danvers, Maxim and the new Mrs de Winter. Bread and butter being the perfect nibble.
"Because of them I can enjoy my afternoon , and return, smiling and refreshed, to face the little ritual of our tea. The order never varies. Two slices of bread and butter each, and China tea.What a hide-bound couple we must seem, clinging to custom because we did so in England. Here on this clean balcony,white and impersonal with centuries of sun, I think of half past four at Manderley, and the table drawn before the library fire. The door flung open, punctual to the minute, and the performance, never-varying, of the laying of the tea, the silver tray, the kettle, the snowy cloth."
For ' The Paris Wife' by Paula McLain, this charming Alfred Meakin french cafe scene. Strong black coffee and sugar being the perfect accompaniment for reading about Hadley Richardson and Ernest Hemimgway in Jazz Age Paris.
"He looked at me seriously, as if he were trying to gauge whether I was teasing or placating him. I wasn't. 'How do you take your coffee, Hasovitch?'he finally said.
'Hot,' I said, and he grinned his grin, that began in his eyes and went everywhere at once. It was devastating."
Then for long afternoons on the sofa with 'Gone with the Wind' by Margaret Mitchell, this Staffordshire Teaset Co Ltd Plex Street Pottery Crinoline Lady plate is just right to sit alongside the tale of Scarlett O'Hara , Rhett Butler and Mammy.
"She knew how to smile st that her dimples leaped, how to walk pigeon-toed so that her wide hoop skirts swayed entrancingly, how to look up into a man's face and then drop her eyes and bat the lids rapidly so that she seemed a-tremble with gentle emotion. Most of all she learned how to conceal from men a sharp intelligence beneath a face as sweet and bland as a baby's."
And on the plate? Why Waffles and Syrup!