An exquisite extra: Endpapers (by Olga Norris)

There are many aspects of books which excite me. Those who follow my blog will know that I am a fan of bookmarks, and another optional extra which delights me is the use of endpapers. In my publishing days I would have great pleasure in choosing and designing endpapers – if the budget allowed.
endpaper collectionTraditionally endpapers were designs rather like commercial fabric patterns, and I have a collection of small books on fabric designs which have appropriate endpapers. There are even a couple of books on endpaper paper designs in the collection.
Children’s books, books on art and craft subjects, and books that benefit from a map larger than individual page size are all ideal for endpapers.
Katrina-and-Jan-endpapersLike this one from here.
danced-in-underpants-2008And this one from here. And here are some more endpapers of children’s books.
weird endpaperI have not been able to track down which book has these endpapers by Rex Whistler, but I can imagine the delight of picking up the book and turning it round and round.
28 endpaper
29 endpaper
I always liked to have a different endpaper in the front from the back, rather like these by the artist Norman Thelwell for an Eagle Annual (at Christmas every year the Eagle comic would publish a book with all the features of the comic therein.)
endpapers_lgGraphic novels and similar publications, even in paperback can be found with endpapers.
But in many ways the most delightful use of endpapers I find is with novels, or other writing which does not contain illustrations. The Persephone Press publishes books with elegant plain grey covers, which burst to life as soon as opened with glorious endpapers and matching bookmarks.
endpapersImage from here

More delicious than ice cream!

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7 Responses to “An exquisite extra: Endpapers (by Olga Norris)”


  1. 1 Eirene Mitsos October 7, 2014 at 9:53 am

    These are delightful Olga. Thank you.

  2. 2 snicklefritzin43 October 5, 2014 at 7:34 am

    Thank you for this look at end papers – they have enchanted me as I read, particularly older volumes, and when I learned to bind books I always included special end papers. They are like the paper that wraps a special birthday gift and they add to the beauty of the printed word. Your collection is wonderful and what a delight for my Sunday morning reading.

    • 3 olganorris October 5, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      Kristin, how interesting that you have used endpapers yourself. I so agree with your comment about a wrapping of a gift.

  3. 4 clairan October 5, 2014 at 5:31 am

    I remember coming upon marbled end paper for the first time as a child. Oh the wonder of it!

    • 5 olganorris October 5, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      It is wondrous indeed to open a book and find a glorious spread! It immediately pulls the reader in to the world of the book, and for a child I think it is rather like opening a treasure chest.

  4. 6 Judy October 5, 2014 at 5:06 am

    Totally enjoyed a peak at your collection. I always appreciated the end papers in books I read.


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