Sunday, September 16, 2007

What The Best Dressed Books Are Wearing

Here's a silly question just because I'm feeling trivial today.

I'd simply like to know, what do you use as a bookmark?

I'm a particularly hopeless case because people often give me beautiful bookmarks.

Chet gave me a wonderful "book bungee" like the ones above which also keeps the pages of the book together in my bag.

Anna the Russian Poet/Princess gave me a couple of delightful "book thongs", which are not only dead pretty but sit between the pages without slipping out.

But somehow they never happen to be around when I need to mark my page, and I end up using all kinds of things, bits of torn off newspaper, serviettes, receipts, queue numbers, sweetie wrappers, and ringgit notes to keep my place! I often pick up advertising cards, especially those for arts events, and leave them between the pages when I finish the book as a kind of postcard to posterity. I've even been known to use a sandwich on occasion, but honestly wouldn't recommend it. (Too much DNA on the pages.)

But I would never, never, fold down the corner of a page. My dad used to do that with library books all the time, and it drove me mad!

I've come across some good bookmarks in second-hand books. Once I found a £10 in a novel and used it to buy Adam Ant's Kings of the Wild Frontier album (which shows how long ago it was!), and then there was a fascinating old letter in a Victorian novel.

I like it when bookshops give you a nicely designed bookmark as a freebie with your purchase. Only Silverfish does this here, I think, which is one lost marketing opportunity. But some of the UK and US bookshops have really nicely designed ones that you want to keep.

Bookmarks have a history as long as the book, and some have become collector's items.

Meanwhile, if you feel at a bit of a loose end today, why not have a go at making this rather splendid origami bookmark?


savante said...

Yeah, I keep all these great looking bookmarks but keep losing them here and there!

S. Cargo said...

It's dog ears for me (alas, the shame).

Chet said...

I have my own book bungee, plus various magnetic bookmarks, but my favourite is a folded strip of paper that I fold forward for a double bookmark - the front bit marks the page that I've read until, and the back bit marks the page I want to read to. Does that make sense?

Oh yes, I'm home from China. Wonderful once-in-a-lifetime experience. Some pictures are up on my blog.

Madcap Machinist said...

most outrageous bookmark I've ever used was a piece of turkey ham. Obviously, any other time, anything goes... including the dreaded dog-ear.

amaruhizat said...

I use shredded papers as I have a lot of them from left over design mock-ups.

As for well designed bookmarks, I tend to keep them instead. As reference.

Anonymous said...

shame on you dog-earers!

i never use a bookmark. i always remember where i stop. even after months.


Anonymous said...


i'm off to Taipei! it's not quite China, but it's the Republic Of China. (that's the official name of Taiwan, if you didn't already know. they had to have "China" in the name just so Beijing wouldn't get pissed off.)


sharkgila said...

I use RM1 notes, cos there's always a ready supply in my wallet. Sometimes after reading a book the RM1 gets left behind in the last page. My mom loves going through my bookshelf looking for 'treasure'.

jawakistani said...

I still cannot understand why peopl dread to dog ear their books. I do it all the times but not to other people's books of course. I feel that the dog ear mark makes to book look you get what I mean. I dont want my books to look as if they are merely displays. Anyway, the worst I had to resort to was biting the page and leaving my teeth imprints much to my chagrin later when I lent the book to a friend who noticed it.

starlight said...

you terrible dog-eared people!!

i use paper bookmarks that come with certain issues of O magazine. bright bold colours with lovely quotes on books and reading on them. or if the book has a dust jacket, i pop the closest side between the pages.

Jade said...

I currently have a DKNY perfume sampling piece of card board in between the pages. Keeps the book smelling spiffy too!

BawangMerah said...

I've used torn papers, even those prepaid cards for phones. Right now, the one that has stuck with me over a few books is a MPH bookmark, all red with bits of their history on it. Dunno how I got it though. Another backup bookmark, which I usually use while I'm pursuing another more urgent reading need is a white bookmark with bits of dried flower on it. Again I don't know how I got it :P

anna-redz said...

what a sweet post!
i have some nice book marks, one was given by my sis, as a souvenir from france, its a nicely printed metal w/ a pic of monalisa, i was scare the metal might scratch my book pages so i kept it as collection instead.. mmh..

synical said...

I've used loads of things for bookmarks, some the previous posters have mentioned, like scraps of paper, perfume sample, etc. When I finish the books I just leave what I used as a bookmark in there for the future.

I also get the occasional postcard and bookmark from other Bookcrossing members. I use this souvenir leather bookmark of Crathes Castle (in Scotland) whenever I could find it.

But no, I don't have the canggih stuff like book bungees or book thongs. (Digressing a little: There's a tiny shop in The Curve that sells cute-sy notebooks, pens, bookmarks, book thongs, etc - right in front of Borders, which I thought is a pretty good location ;))

I also tried making the origami bookmark, but I'm not sure if I got it right - so I'm back to using scraps of paper to hold my page.

Anonymous said...

Bus tickets. Always have them 'cos I don't drive :)

bibliobibuli said...

i can add some more things to my list now you've reminded me - those perfume samplers, bus tickets ... oh and i forgot one of my favourites, sugar packets since i often read in cafes

glad i'm not the only person who leaves money between the pages, sharkgila!

once left a club card in a book and forgot all about it and had to pay for a replacement one. on the day i got the new one, i opened the book and found the old one

starlight - i got that issue of O with all the bookmarks, thanks for reminding me, i should press them into service

gnute said...

I have a triangular leather pocket that I tuck the top corner into. It's from the UK and has the words "Here Is Where I Fell Asleep" embossed.

Anonymous said...

Best designed books at most discounted prices are available here at as so many stores like Barnes-Noble, Valore Books etc are full of fresh coupons and deals...!!!!