I'm always happy to find the very small sticker, called a trade label, in the back of a used book that indicates the store the book originally came from. The first one I saw was in a copy of Rupert Brooke's poems, printed in 1918. It was a label, tucked into the back cover's crease, advertising Sidgwick & Jackson, the book's publisher. These trade labels aren't used much anymore, but they speak of a time when booksellers and small publishers had a real sense of ownership and permanency. Sadly, it's hard to imagine someone opening a small bookshop now with the feeling that they could not only live on the business, but pass it on to their families. These labels are just a handful of the hundreds to be found in the Seven Roads Gallery online collection.


  1. In my former life as a bookseller I worked for an man who owned four bookshops, one of which was the Andover Bookstore in Massachusetts at 89 Main Street. I wonder if the shop Jean Karr worked for has moved over the years...

  2. Amazing connection! I wonder if Karr's shop had the same lovely feel as the trade label...