Alex Beam has written a very good short essay about the bookplates, subtitled “Why book owners mark their literary territory with personalized art,” in the current issue of Yale Alumni Magazine.

....."Bookplates, often beautiful adornments to things of beauty, signify figurative possession as well. “Ex Libris Alex Beam,” meaning “From the Library of Alex Beam,” found on the inside covers of Anthony Powell’s series Dance to the Music of Time, would suggest not only that I owned the books, but that I had read them too. (Especially the tenth volume: Books Do Furnish a Room.) Here desire bleeds into possession; I do own them, and I wish I had read them all."..
......"Electronic bookplates? I don’t think so. “We have created a library for you on Amazon.com,” the manufacturer of the popular Kindle says, but I know they’re just kidding. If they had created a library for me, they would have included In Every Face I Meet, by Justin Cartwright, or Richard Holmes’s Dr. Johnson and Mr. Savage. Their library exists on a server farm, where real estate is cheap. My library is here, in this room where I am writing.".....