The Private Lives of Books

Investigating Books
and their Owners

Books are full of clues about the journeys they went on, the adventures they had, and the people who owned them.

» Learn how to become a book investigator

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Illustration of girl reading, by Jessie Willcox Smith Part of an inscription by Walter Scott

This feature is meant for people who want to find out how books can speak to us about their lives, their owners and their travels.

Books can tell all kinds of surprising stories through inscriptions people wrote in them, through the signatures of their owners, special bookplates and bindings.

Here you will find out about the different parts of a book and how these parts can reveal some of the secret stories books have to tell.