How do you mark your page in a book? Do you use bookmarks? Or are you a corner turner, a dog-ear-er? Does it depend on the book? I asked a friend over dinner tonight and rightly guessed that, like me, she uses bookmarks. But she said that for her notebooks she has a unique method of marking her page: folding it in half, not equally down the middle, but so that a triangle of the page sticks up out of the book. Ingenious.
I have another friend who told me she has no use for more than two bookmarks as she only ever reads two books at a time. She indicated that I'm forever buying her bookmarks and that I should stop.
Personally I have lots of bookmarks...and things that I use should a bookmark not be close at hand. I have special bookmarks for special books, like my gratitude journal (my souley bookmark from Maggie, a cherished school friend) and books from local authors who gave away matching bookmarks at their launches. Some books have a few bookmarks stuffed in them, books like The Artist's Way, painting manuals and many poetry books. In addition to bookmarks, I also like those ribbons and elastics that come attached to some books so I can save multiple pages.
I use all kinds of things for emergency markers...old receipts, tissues, coupons, post-its, empty folded toilet rolls...although I'm not proud of it, I have also occasionally kept my place in a book by simply leaving it open face down if i know it won't be disturbed!
I find it fascinating to borrow a book either from a friend or the library and find markers in there--recipes, shopping lists, ticket stubs, children's drawings, cards to Suicide Prevention Centres in some self-help books...I imagine I'm reading along with that person, walking in their footsteps almost, now that I know a little about their life.
Equally as fascinating is reading a book from a dog-ear-er. You know, someone who turns down the upper corners of a book. The way the pages are turned down speaks volumes, especially if it varies...this page neatly in the upper right hand corner, this whole page creased. Then there is the issue of where the person stopped reading. I wonder why. What came up that they couldn't finish the chapter? Why did they only read three pages on then stop again? I make up all kinds of reasons whether I know who last read the book or not. Sometimes I find a cookie crumb or a smear of blood or chocolate or a smushed bug. Sometimes i leave those things in books myself, inadvertently of course. ;-) But I love it. They add to the personality of the book. I adore books that have been read so often that their pages have begun to fur...oh that softness, like a caress from all who have read it before, even a younger me.
Have you ever purposefully left a bookmark in a borrowed book? I think that would be cool. I leave what I find in borrowed books. I also like the idea of bookplates, even if the book is eventually passed along, and I especially like the idea of writing your name and the date in a book that is purposefully donated to others. Popular in Thunder Bay are little free libraries (I think most everywhere has them now--little boxes, often beautifully decorated, with books for free inside. Leave one, take one; take ten, leave none...whatever you like.) Imagine each book in them having its own special bookmark and its list of who has read it and when. This idea ridiculously excites me!
Such personality is lost with e-books although I do understand their importance and necessity. But for me, nothing can beat a good old page-turner of a book in my hands, that weight, that sound, that bookmark waiting...
Welcome! I'm Sue Blott: a writer of all things, a poet at heart, mom, wife, daughter, step-mom, grandma, tea drinker, tai chi-er, mystic, artist, dreamer...and now a blogger! This is my world.