Today I received a gift that any booklover would delight in. Sara, a woman in my church who is quite accomplished in woodburning mentioned that she wanted to give us some bookmarks. This Sunday she brought them and I thought they were so nice, I thought I’d share them with you by way of a post on bookmarks.

Sara's Bookmarks

Sara’s Bookmarks

One of the nice things about e-readers is that they keep your place for you, and even allow you to electronically “bookmark” places you want to go back to. I’m glad for this since it would have been far more tedious to electronically flip through pages from the beginning to get back to the place I last read–especially when I fall asleep reading my Kindle and it turns itself off!

But I still read lots of old fashion print books, and usually have multiple books going at one time. Some way of keeping track of where I’ve left off reading is crucial–my memory is not always that good. Folding over the corner, or dog-earing is one way to do this. But it is tough on the pages, makes the book look messy, and isn’t great if you give or re-sell the book. I think dog ears belong on dogs!

You can just leave the book open face down at your page. Hard on the spine and those you live with might not like you leaving books lying around and will close the book and put it away. Place lost. And it especially doesn’t work well if you carry your books around.

Some other gift bookmarks

Some other gift bookmarks

Sometimes I’ve used the flaps of dust jackets on books that have them. That works well at the beginning and end of the book, not so well in the middle and takes the nice clean crease out of the dust jacket.

So most of the time I’m left with the humble or not so humble bookmark. Sometimes we’ve received some very nice ones (and if you can’t think of a book your bibliophile friend doesn’t have, then a bookmark is a good alternative gift).

From the Wikipedia article “Bookmark” it seems we’ve had bookmarks nearly as long as we’ve had printed books. Early printed books were rare and bookmarks, either a ribbon bound into the book or a parchment strip on the edge of the folio. Better made books often still come with a ribbon bound into them for marking your place, which I always like because the ribbon doesn’t fall out–although I once had a ribbon ripped out of a Bible by a friend’s child. The first detached bookmarks seem to have been made in the 1850s and with this came a new market in collectibles.

A bookmark sampler

A bookmark sampler

As you can see, bookmarks can be made out of a number of materials from wood, to leather, to cloth to metal to plastic. Most of the ones I use are made of cardboard. Bookstores are a great source of these but lots of other people from publishers to organizations to holiday cards use bookmarks to publicize themselves or give one a memento of the occasion. If I use these, I usually end up either losing them or eventually throwing them away because the ends tend to get curled up and bookmark itself worn out from repeated use. Usually I stretch a bookmark over ten or more books though.

What are your bookmark stories? Do you have bookmarks that are special to you? How do you like to mark your place in books? And what bookstore, in your experience gives away the best bookmarks?

9 thoughts on “Bookmarks

  1. This post and the first picture caught my attention. My spouse does woodwork as a hobby, and he just ended up with some super thin pieces that I thought would make great bookmarks! However, I have no idea how to burn a design on – I may try decoupaging something on.

    As an avid reader of print books, I have bookmarks stashed in several places in my house. Most of mine are cheap paper ones – acquired free. A handful are nicer and were gifts. Mine seem to last many yrs. I buy a lot of used books, and fairly often I find bookmarks in them.

    I always use bookmarks. To bend a corner of a page? Horrors!! I also don’t like to use flap of dust jacket b/c of possible damage to it. I lose bookmarks too – which I hate, esp if I really liked it. Great post!

    • Thanks, Laura. I have found some interesting bookmarks in used books. The ones that are particularly fun are those from bookstores in other cities, which give me a clue to the “life of the book” before it came into my possession.

  2. I agree – I would never bend a page or risk messing up a dusk jacket either. I always just use an index card; it’s cheap, convenient, and doubles nicely as a straightedge (I’m a bit OCD about my books, so I don’t underline freehand). I’m not opposed to nice bookmarks; I’ve just never purchased, found, or received one as a gift.

  3. I love bookmarks too and have kept some since my childhood when my love of reading began. As great as technology is, there’s still something lovely about holding an “old-fashioned book” in your hands and placing a bookmark full of memories in place to mark your spot.

  4. Pingback: A hodgepodge of links…books, taking Bible literally, gender issues. | Enough Light

  5. I cut up the glossy side of greeting cards into several bookmarkers, and place them in two of the clear glass containers I have on one of my bookshelves. When I use them, they make the reading experience more pleasant since they are so delightfully pretty or handsome depending on their color and design. I choose them according to the book’s genre, and my mood before I start reading any book. I am interested to start making my own bookmarkers once I buy a laminator, and then I would like to print verses from the King James Bible on them and color them with colored pencils with artful designs around their perimeters. I am taking a one-year sabbatical rest of intense reading and studying during 2020 from my Facebook account. And that is why I will not be posting and liking posts on Facebook. Your FB page is one of my favorite pages, and I am glad I receive your blog articles in my email mailbox. Thank you.

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