Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A Poignant Bookmark

We've talked before about the odd things that people put between the pages of their books, and so I very much enjoyed reading about Steerforth's finds [via Sam Jordison on Twitter]. He says :
These ad hoc bookmarks are usually just scraps of paper, but sometimes I find photos or letters that give tantalising glimpes into the lives of strangers.
One of the many inpromtu bookmarks that the second-hand bookseller has come across is this picture :

About which he muses :
This photo manages to be poignant, touching and a little depressing too, bringing Hardy's quote about life being 'tragic with comic overtones' to mind. On the face of it, an overweight woman in late middle age is standing in front of a hideous pair of curtains in what must be the room of a bed and breakfast, or a cheap hotel. Is she coming or going? Why did anyone take a photograph of such a mundane scene?

The temperature control panel of the Dimplex convector heater has been left open, suggesting grey skies, wet pavements and dark evenings spent in an empty dining room.

But this photo could mark the beginning or end of what felt like a great adventure. If we look beyond the clashing patterns and cheap furniture, this photo might have been taken because someone wanted to bottle the happiness of the moment.
Never mind the book it fell out of, the story is here!

There are more of Steerforth's posts about book marks archived here.

Postscript :

Want more of the same? In the comments, contributes a link to the Forgotten Bookmarks blog. I would certainly agree with him that it gets pretty voyeuristic.


Meor said...

There's a whole blog dedicated to those forgotten bookmarks, and it recently got a mention on Blogger's Blogs of Note.


Seems a bit voyueristic. :-)

bibliobibuli said...

thanks so much for the link - i put it atop. and yes, agree it is voyeuristic.

Madcap Machinist said...

One curious 'bookmark' I found is (I am still using it) a receipt that fell out of a second-hand book -- the book I bought in KL; the receipt is from a bookshop in San Francisco. The book is a tastefully raunchy novella.