My favorite books on postage stamps

People and places have been commemorated on postage stamps so it was a real pleasure to discover some of my favorite books depicted on postage stamps too. We are used to seeing presidents, politicians and beautiful landscapes as our postal service issues new catalogs and stamps, so it is a nice change to see books like ’Gone with the Wind’ or ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ featured.

Surprisingly few books have had the privilege of having their own stamps which is a shame because sometimes it is easier to remember a book title rather than the author. And authors, as well as poets and other literary figures are often commemorated. In this article, it is a case of collecting stamps by themes and I have chosen four books for my theme. The USPS and the Royal Mail, who are among the leading stamp issuers in the world, each issued 2 of my choices.

Christmas 2012 stamps - forever

USPS stamps Christmas 2012

My favorite books on postage - Matilda stamp

The first stamp book that I have selected is from my childhood and is a book called ‘Matilda’. The book was written by the famous children’s author Roald Dahl and the stamp is one of six in the Roald Dahl set that were issued at the same time. The other five stamps feature other equally popular books by the same author and include ‘The Twits’ and ‘The Witches’ as well as ‘Charlie’ mentioned above. Young philatelists who like Dahl will surely want this colorful set of stamps for their stamp collection. Similar ones, such as the Disney series shown below are very collectible for young philatelists.

Disney collectible postage stamps

The Art of Disney Imagination Collectible Stamp Sheet
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Matilda postage stamp

Matilda postage stamp from Royal Mail

The easiest way to secure your copies is to buy these stamps online, but stamp dealers will be able to assist too. All six stamps are Royal Mail first class stamps and were issued in 2012 by the Royal Mail, who is the British stamps postal federation. Many children start their reading life with a Roald Dahl book despite the unexpected endings, scary storyline, weird characters and lack of sentimentality. Dahl is considered one of the greatest British writers of the twentieth century.

The Royal Mail paid tribute to Roald Dahl (whose book sales have topped 100 million worldwide) with these lovely collectible stamps. I suggest that you collect them post haste as popular stamps quickly sell out.

Wild Thing postage stamp

Wild Thing a monster stamp from USPS‘Where the Wild Things Are’ is a children’s book written by Maurice Sendak and it was published nearly 50 years ago. This is a USPS postage stamp image with a wild theme (a fanged monster is shown). This monster represents one of the scary characters from the book, which Maurice also illustrated. Like Dahl’s books Maurice has created his children's books to be scary, which seems to be what children like in their stories.

Not sure that the books make good bedtime reading though, and many parents at the time of publication were concerned when they saw the images (at first) and the book was promptly banned. However, children power won through as there was a huge demand from kids for this book and it became available to buy again. Until he wrote ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ Maurice Sendak was better known as a book illustrator so the issuing of the book’s wild image on a US postage stamp is a great compliment to the author as both a writer and illustrator.

LOTR postage stamps

Lord Of The Rings postage stamps from TolkienAnother fantastic set of stamps for the stamp collector. The Lord of the Rings is one of the best known books ever written and these stamps were copies of original illustrations made by the author. This Royal Mail group of stamps comprised 10 stamps in total (4 of which are shown here). Royal Mail Great Britain, commemorated J. R. R. Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings' with this stamp set which they issued in 2004.

The drawings and illustrations are of the locations in the LOTR books and, like Maurice Sendak above, the author did all his own illustration work. Anyone who has read ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ by Tolkien will be familiar with the locations shown on these four stamps. The top two stamps, from left to right, are of Rivendell and Fangorn Forest and the two lower ones show Minas Tirith, on the left, and The Forest of Lothlorien (in springtime).

Books to compliment the stamps

The Lord of the Rings
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This is a wonderful collection of books for a fantasy fiction fan to own and if the fan is a stamp collector too then all will be well in their world. If you get a lot of mail don’t throw your stamps away; keep them, even if you are not a stamp lover, because there will always be a philatelist that will be delighted you kept them, as you pass them on to him or her for their collections.

Current Stamp Booklet

Bonsai Booklet of 20 x Forever us Postage Stamps
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Gone with the Wind postage stamp

Gone with the wind US postage stamp

In case you think that all stamps featuring books are aimed at children’s stories (perhaps Lord of the Rings is an adult book) the final one is one of classic literature. The author herself could have been featured, as was the case with old stamps when famous people on stamps were depicted, but this time it is simply the book and its title. Gone with the Wind is instantly recognized, as are the characters created by the author. Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara and their intertwined relationship are brilliantly portrayed in this classic piece of literature. The simplicity of the stamp is due to the instantly recognizable book title. This stamp is from the US postal federation and despite its new looking modern appearance it is not a forever stamp, as it was issued in 1998 as a 32-cent stamp.

 The author of the book, Margaret Mitchell, was of course a famous woman who appeared on a postage stamp. She won the Literature Pulitzer Prize for the book and she was commemorated on a 1-cent US postage stamp in 1986 as part of the Great Americans series of stamps.

The Simpsons Stamps Mint Sheet

The Simpsons Mint Sheet 20 USA .44 Cent Postage Stamps MNH
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Postal Services aim to be more attractive

Post it 

Postal authorities around the globe strive to create stamps that are appealing, in order to generate more sales. Themed issues might feature Disney stamps, Presidential stamps or legendary figures like Mother Teresa, Gandhi or Martin Luther King stamps. Popular eye catching stamp sets such as these postbooks sell in their millions; many are never used and are instead kept in mint condition by collectors. The stamps featured, or mentioned, in this article are all worthy of a place in any stamp album. Look out for them!

For stamp collectors

Harris Worldwide Traveler Stamp Album Ideal for Beginners - A-Z Countries
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