The most trusted tool of a reader, the bookmark

I have a number of bookmarks, and yet I still sometimes use a receipt, a ripped piece of paper, or even just a pencil. Here are most of them. Not all, of course, because there’s probably some lost in old books on my bookcase. And I did get rid of some of them, those that I had no recollection of where they came from, as well as the duplicates.

Bookmarks are wonderful because they are anchors to who we were and where we were. They also mark where we left off and save a book from dog-eared pages and silly scraps of paper that only get lost in the pages.

Pictured above are some of my earlier bookmarks, from when I was in grammar school and high school.

Below are bookmarks mostly from bookstores. I have a number of different variations from the Strand bookstore in New York City, as well as Books Inc.

These bookmarks were made to advertise something. On the left hand the bookmarks advertise books: The Beatles Anthology, J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Children of Hurin; Tamim Ansary’s West of Kabul, East of New York; and Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. The bookmarks on the right were created to advertise museum exhibitions at the de Young Museum, and the Walt Disney Family Museum and the SFOMOMA Artists Gallery.

These bookmarks I purchased at museums or cultural sites. The one with the cat features tile work from Pompeii and is one of my favorites.

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Here are more bookmarks that advertise cultural attractions, festivals, art exhibitions (from my friend Bernice Gross), and a radio show featuring Christopher Rice (Anne Rice’s son).


Bookmarks also make lovely gifts. Many thoughtful friends have given me the bookmarks below:

A bookmark from a Princess Cruise ship’s library. Sada who lived on one with her husband invited me on the ship for dinner. I had a lovely time, and visited their library. I didn’t check out a book but did take a bookmark.
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Even after working on this blog, even after purchasing a new bookmark, I’m sure I’ll still use whatever I find handy. I can’t help it, sometimes you’re so engrossed in a book and you don’t realize it’s your bus stop until you look up from reading. Sometimes you read until your eyes are so heavy and you can’t remember what you just read, and so you fall asleep with the book on top of  or beside you. There’s no time for the formality of a bookmark.

And as many as I already own, I still can’t help buying more. Here’s one from the Hobbit movie. And another from Carlsbad Caverns, home to thousands and thousands of bats.

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2 thoughts on “The most trusted tool of a reader, the bookmark

  1. What an interesting, eclectic cache of bookmarks you have there! I do the same thing, btw, using receipts for bookmarks.

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