09 May 2009

My Top Five Bookmarks

Weekly Geeks prompt this week asks us to discuss one of the most useful tools for a bibliophile: Bookmarks. Do you use bookmarks or just grab whatever is handy to mark your page? Do you collect lots of different bookmarks or do you have a favorite one that you use exclusively? If you're not someone who uses bookmarks on a regular basis, have you ever used anything odd to mark your place?

I would love to come in here and say that I use these wonderfully creative, beautiful bookmarks, but unfortunately I don't. I own a few, but they are more often used as decoration on my bookshelf. No, I use what's handy, anything laying around, to mark my spot in a book. So here are my top five most often used bookmarks.

#5: An Actual Bookmark (2%)
Never the pretty kind with quotes and colors and fringes - those sit on my bookshelves - but I will every now and then use one of my plain paper bookmarks that come to me from LibraryThing or departments at my college. This is a very very rare occurrence.

#4: Memorizing the Page Number (3%)
Sometimes I just remember what page I'm on: look at the page number, close the book, and move on. I tend to do this when I know I'll be reading the book later that day or the next. No longer than that though or I'll forget the number.

#3: A Coffee Cup (5%)
Because I have reading marathons, going for hours at a time, most of the time I have to mark a page, I'll only be gone for a few minutes. For these short times away, I lay the book down on my coffee table, set a coffee cup, a glass, a can of coke, whatever, on the thicker portion of the book. This way the book doesn't close.

#2: Scraps of Paper (15%)
Very commonly I just stick in whatever thin item, typically paper, is laying around at the time. To Do lists, grocery lists, receipts, corner pieces of notebook paper, photographs, these all find their way into my books quite often. Sometimes the paper stays in after I'm done and months or years later, when I re-read the book, I'll find a note or receipt. It's geeky but fun.

#1: The Book Itself (75%)
There are two ways I use the book itself. One, I lay the open book face down on my couch or coffee table. The book never closes and I know where to start reading again. The most common way I mark a page, however, is to literally mark the page, folding over the corner, dog-earring the book. Some dislike both these methods as one puts creases in the spine and the other creases on the pages. Pppfffttt to you. I love books. I love to read them, look at them, touch them, smell them, organize them, talk about them, and loan them out. But they are meant to be used. A book with no creases, no greasy fingerprint marks, no slightly blurred words from a drop of condensation off a glass, in other words a perfectly preserved book...that's just sad, pitiful. So I'm perfectly fine with this method.

So what do you use?


  1. I loved your post! I didn't mention in my post but I sometimes dog-ear my books. I have checked out many books from the library and found someone else's list or receipt or card in it--so I know I am not the only one who grabs whatever is handy!

  2. My favorites are the Barnes & Noble receipt folded in half, or a PostIt note folded in half. I don't dog-ear, so when I don't have a bookmark I do the page memorization thing.

  3. Kim - I love it when I get a used book and find things in them!

    Brandon - Silly purist....DOG EAR YOUR PAGES! :)

  4. Oh I'm a silly purist! I never dog ear, too. :D

    I always have bookmarks around, those free things you get. If not, I'll use any scrap of paper. If not, I'll memorize the page.

  5. yup, i'm a use anything kind of girl too.

  6. I'm with you. Dog-ears it is for me, too. Happy weekend!

  7. So, when you put down your book to go to the supermarket, you don't know what to buy because your grocery list is in your book? :P
    Or are you the type of person who, like me, brings her book along wherever she goes?

  8. Claire - :) I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who memorizes the page...but go on, be bad, bend over a tiny little corner now and again!

    Hagelrat - I think this perspective makes us very cool and flexible.

    Rikki - We can always get a new copy if the old get to crinkly right?!?!

    gnoegnoe - I bring the book I'm reading with me everywhere! I don't even own purses that are too small to carry a book anymore. It's a bit sad, but there you have it!

  9. I hear you, Trisha. I like books that have been touched and loved. I will even mark in them ((gasp)) in pencil. I've received a few books on trade with the previous owners notes and I have discovered I love reading someone else's thoughts. I like their notes. I am particularly pleased when they mark passages or lines I think are worth noting.

    Back to bookmarks, I can't use them if their too pretty but I am drawn to beautiful things which is why I make bookmarks with quotes and images of women. I think we are amazing and beautiful.

    Thanks for the post.

  10. Yup. I do have a place in my desk drawer where I stash ticket stubs and postcards and things to use to mark pages. I love the way you break out the percentages!

  11. I tend to use what's convenient as well; either that or try to remember the page number.
    Happy Weekly Geeks :)

  12. Susan - Margin notes are wonderful to read. I very much enjoy trying to figure out what people mean by their comments. So often the notes don't seem to relate to the text, but that makes it so interesting.

    Gavin - I like the idea of actually having a place to collect scraps of paper to use as bookmarks.

    Maree - Happy Weekly Geeks to you too!

  13. Birthday cards used to be a good source of new book marks once.

  14. I cut up envelops or cards to use as a bookmark. Or I am also good at remembering page nos.

    Mark it down

  15. Kerrie - I think that's a great idea. I might even get creative and cut up the old birthday cards into fun shapes.

    Gautami - Ha! I crossed your idea with Kerrie's. I like remembering page nos too; unless I'm reading too many books at a time. Then I lose it.

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