From an Unknown Library: The Scoop on Ex Libris Anonymous

By Jake Redmill


Perhaps one of the most reflective experiences is that of journal-writing. People familiar with the pastime know there are many options as to where to buy a notebook.

For some, selecting and purchasing the keepsake should be as special as the act of writing itself. For these people, such a place exists.

Some of the books to choose from
Some of the books to choose from

Ex Libris Anonymous makes journals out of vintage books. Most of the books in stock are not yet made into journals, allowing a visitor to pull a book off the shelf, select certain original pages – which may include illustrations, maps, or Shakespeare poetry – and observe the whole process of making the journal.

Because there are myriads of experiences one could write about in life, there are many types of book genres. However, all the books have one thing in common – they are all good-looking.

“I only pick out the most aesthetically-beautiful books.” Jacob Deatherage, shop owner, explains as he turns White Fang into a journal. “For every book you see, there are hundreds that didn’t get selected.”

Customers use the books for different purposes. Artists find the blank acid paper especially favorable for sketching. The use of a cookbook journal inspires some to write out their own recipes. Musicians can select music books for composing. Occasionally, however, customers will select something they deem ‘dry’ or ‘boring’.

“I like using a hide-a-book,” a customer explains while holding a book on podiatry. “My secrets are definitely safe in here!”

The reasons why customers choose what they do are as diverse as the types of books found in the shop. However, all journals maintain the marks of their travels.

Ex Libris Anonymous preserves nuanced characteristics from each book. This includes scars on the covers, old bookmarks, notes from French class in Nouveaux Copains, and sometimes doodling in the back cover.

Owner Jacob Deatherage binds a journal
Owner Jacob Deatherage binds a journal

Every book has its own history and is passed on to the future owner of the book. As the Ex Libris Anonymous website claims, “Not unlike a snowflake, a soft puppy, or a slice of warm pie, every journal we make here at Ex
Libris Anonymous is one-of-a-kind…”

The business seeks to create a source of inspiration for those who journal. While each book has had its own journey thus far, only the new owner of the journal can write the next chapter.

Ex Libris Anonymous is located at 916 SE 29th Ave. Their website is .

From an Unknown Library: The Scoop on Ex Libris Anonymous

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top