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With so many books 'on the go' at once, how do people remember where they are?  How do you all mark your pages?

I have a couple of souvenir leather bookmarks and some novelty gift ones, amongst others.  Does just any business card do the job for you?

How many here just lay it open, page down or *gasp* fold the corner over?

Of course, I'd love every book on my shelves to be beautifuly bound, complete with a page ribbon...   Very Happy

I still have a couple of bookmarks from my local independent bookshop that closed down last year - I love them, they are dark green with the shop's name on in a nice font, nothing flashy, just bits of cardboard - but extra nice now as a remembrance of a lovely bookshop, sadly gone the way of anything not owned by a huge corporation.  They are a nice size - not too big.

I also have a lovely Florentine hand-painted bookmark that was a gift - anyone who has been to Florence or Venice will no doubt know the kind I mean - beautiful.

I also pick up bookmarks in Waterstone's when they have freebie ones, if they are vaguely interesting or attractive - and sometimes when I have bought secondhand books online, I get sent a bookmark from the bookseller.

So I have a little collection of bookmarks.  I like them to be thin - card is by far the best material for a bookmark, or very thin leather or woven fabric (the Florentine one is sort of woven - but stiff).  I hate anything made of metal, especially anything that clips over the pages - too easy to cause damage, and they are not satisfying as objects, whereas a real bookmark is lovely.

I am also building a collection of the lovely Everyman's hardbacks, which come with their own ribbon attached - lovely!

I  love bookmarks.  But will certainly lay a book face down if I am just going away for a short while and there is nothing to hand.  I don't like folding corners myself, but have no moral objection to it.  I will use anything that is to hand if there is no real bookmark nearby - any bit of paper will do.

If I'm reading a book constantly I don't use a bookmark...I can usually find my place, but otherwise I'm with Evie, paper or card seems the best as I've come across some that are too thick to use. I also agree that metal bookmarks can damage the pages, especially the paper clip style ones or the ones which hang over the spine.

I too have a collection of freebies picked up in bookstores and also have some lovely woven ones.

...and yes, I've often used whatever is to cards, till receipts, old envelopes, bit of card torn from a cornflakes packet...I'm sure we've all been there!

I do like the ribbon markers in books, but sometimes OCD prevents me from moving it from its original position.

What's the strangest thing you've ever used? I did once hear of a rasher of bacon being found in a returned library book  Confused

Oh...and I would never, EVER turn down the corner of the page...eek!!

I vary.  

There was a time when only my automatic bookmark would do - you clip it to the back of the book and it has a small wire to mark the page, then you slide the page out of this and the bookmark remains.  There is no taking the bookmark out of the book, laying it somewhere and then putting it back with this one, but it did mark the book a little - but at the moment it's an old bit of card that used to be on the inside of a chocolate bar or an enourmous tassle, the kind that you find on a curtain tie-back, attached to a silver coloured long thin piece of metal.  I'm particularly fond of that but it doesn't suit every book.

Like Evie, I've accumulated all sorts of bookmarks over the years and tend towards the cardboard ones that slip into the pages.  I stopped turning over the corners long before I became an adult and I don't like to see a book that has been so treated but don't have anything against it per se.  I don't leave my books face down because it never occurs to me and I normally have something to use as a bookmark so don't just pick up anything that comes to hand - there is usually nothing to hand anyway.

I don't like anything too bulky inside my books - the aforementioned tassle is designed to be on the outside - and like Evie prefer my cardboard ones to be thin.


I have a large collection of bookmarks too, mostly cardboard. My prize bookmark is a metal one with an antique Irish coin at the top, but I don't tend to use that one too often. When I'm away from my bookmark collection in college, the Chaplaincy in the university has plenty of suitable cards. If I was leaving a book for a short while, I'd use my glasses as a bookmark. I hate dogleafing books!

I have a collection of book marks,mainly leather souvenirs, which I do not use. I've found that the best bookmark is to cut the corner off an envelope and slip it over the page.

My wife has a leather gadget in the shapof a figure eight, with weights in the top and bottom. She just lays this across an open book to indicate where she is up to.


I pick up bookmarks whereever I see them for free and sometimes souvenir ones, and people give them to me, so I have a wooden one from Thailand, a magnetic one from Holland and others.  But so often there is no bookmark with me and then, if it is a library book, I just close it and try to remember the page number.  If it is my own book it is treated much more cavalierly and left spread open (which often helps with being able to read it at the table anyway; one thing that stops me reading at times is the inability of the book to stay open).

Likewise, if it is a library book and I want to remember a page to age about, I put a post-it on the page; if it is my own I turn down the page.  Mosat of my own books are cheap second-hand ones anyway and I have books for their content, not buying expensive beautiful editions.  

In my childhood I used to eat the corners of my books, so my Anne books are more or less sans corners.  Can't turn them down!  

Cheers, Caro.

I have a large collection too, but my favourite is one a seven year old child I taught made for me in the 1970s with my name on it and a picture of a pile of books. I always treasured things that had been made with affection. I have some lovely leather ones and 'gimicky' ones that I have been given but I often leave my books face downwards too. My husband uses a hairgrip but that is too bulky for me.
mike js

Hello Ann, funny you should  mention a hairgrip. By curious coincidence I use an old metal bookmark to keep my hair out of my eyes while reading. ;oP

How lovely to have that bookmark made for you by a seven year old. I really do have a metal bookmark, which is a lightweight clip with a design from the Roman Baths museum (in Bath).

I must admit I tend to just use card bookmarks from bookshops, though. For technical reading, I seem to have favoured some small telephone notelets (like post-its with no glue) which I have never used for their intended purpose. These are great for marking several places of reference in one or more books.

I can just see you with the book mark in your hair, Mike. It makes a great picture and I hope you have a long floppy fringe to do it justice! Laughing
My sister uses the cards she likes best, that have been given for her birthday or Christmas, so that she can carry on enjoying them. I think that is a lovely idea too.

I do sometimes use postcards - nice to re-read the message on the back as well as have a picture!

The bacon rasher in the library book does seem to come up fairly regularly, which would lead me to think it an urban myth if it were not for the fact that I once actually saw just that. On a couple of occasions during my library career we also found books with largish amounts of cash (i.e several high denomination notes) used to mark places. On neither occasion did anyone come forward to claim the money.

I have a large collection of bookmarks, mostly card, some promotional, some decorative or souvenirs. I also like to have a few of the Post-it note index tabs to hand, to mark key passages or to remind me to come back to words or passages which I do not fully understand. Even so, I do get caught out with no 'proper' bookmark to hand, in which case any clean piece of paper that is around will be used - an envelope, a receipt or whatever. I NEVER (ever, ever) turn down corners - I would rather lose my place than do that!

I have oodles of Waterstones ones, some from Borders, and numerous other cardboard ones from various independent bookshops. They're mostly old and a bit manky as I never chuck them out and rarely buy new books these days. I also have a couple of rather derelict leather ones from childhood visits - Glastonbury Abbey and the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo being two that are immediately to hand.

If I start reading something away from home I'll use anything from bus or train tickets to till receipts or folded up sheets of A4.

I have a few rather sad habits with bookmarks: I never take them out of the book when reading, but always keep them resting face down on the opposite page. When closing the book, I always have to have the picture side of the bookmark facing the page I'm reading.

I have a large collection of souveneer leather bookmarks but tend to use the same ones over and over again, or if I don't have one to hand a scrap of paper.  I also have a couple of christmas cards which I have kept either because I liked the picture or there was just something about them and I ripped the back off and I use them as bookmarks, actually that one goes back to when I was at primary school and they did that, you went to the bookshelf and picked your book and then to the christmas card drawer and picked your card, wrote your name on it and then every tme you read to the teacher she wrote on the card what page you had got to.

On my bookshelves I have a pile of 25 thin cardboard bookshop advert. bookmarks all from one shop, if I remember correctly they gave me a handfull a couple of years ago!   However, I mostly find myself using postcards friends have sent me, or photographs or old birthday cards.
Gul Darr

I wish I had been using a metal or leather bookmark this morning, because I dropped a thin card bookmark into the bath! At least it wasn't the book.

Gul, at least you could remember where you'd washed up to...  Wink
Gul Darr

On second thoughts, I'd better steer clear of metal bookmarks. They could be quite dangerous.

Yes, one slip and it's the synagogue for you. Ahem.

I bought a second-hand book a few months ago from Amazon Marketplace and received with it a postcard with a handwritten list of new year's resolutions on the back, one of which was to see things through to the end. The postcard was tucked about 40 pages in.

I tend to use card bookmarks for the sake of convenience. Working in a library, I come across them quite regularly and so am never in short supply.

[quote="Apple"]I have a large collection of souveneer leather bookmarks but tend to use the same ones over and over again, or if I don't have one to hand a scrap of paper.quote]
My views entirely Apple.
I'm glad I'm not alone in refusing to turn the corner of a page. Now I think about it some more, I wonder if by not turning or marking a page it is a way of indicating to the next person who reads the book that they are the first to read it? With a newspaper or magazine I am quite happy to turn pages or write on etc.

In the top drawer of my bedside table I have countless bookmarks that have been bought for me. Highlights include: a set of very thin wooden ones decorated with flowers my Dad bought me from China when I was very small; one carved in the shape of my name; one I got this Christmas depicting sheep on a hillside reading 'The hills are alive with the Sound of M-ewe-sic' *groan*; one I cross-stitched when I was six for a competition...

Obviously, these never get used! In my Bible and other books I have posh copies of I use a ribbon marker; for books I'm using to work I use varying sizes of post-its - the little page markers for things I think I'll want to quote and big ones (normally written on) for things which have sparked an idea; for non-fiction books I generally put them down turned to the right page; and when I'm reading for pleasure I remember the page number.

Whether I'd commit the heinous crime of folding over the page very much depends on the book. I must admit that, although I'd never write in a book myself, unless it had been purchased for that express purpose, reading other people's annotations is one of the great joys of university libraries.

I hate it when people turn down the corners!  It drives me nuts!  I don't much like breaking the spine on a book either but I really, really hate dog-eared pages!   Evil or Very Mad

As for bookmarks, I use any piece of card or paper that comes to hand...old train tickets, receipts, those cards you get with new clothes, anything really!

Verity, I'm afraid writing in library books ranks even higher on my list of book-crime than turning down corners of pages. I find it nearly impossible to read a book that someone else has annotated: either the comments are totally banal, or so cryptic that I am distracted from the text by an attempt to understand the annotation. Certainly, in my days as a librarian, I would have required anyone I caught defacing a book in this way to either erase their comments (if in pencil) or pay the cost of replacing the book if they had used ink. Sorry to rant, but it is such an antisocial habit. Obviously you are not a perpetrator and quite properly make use of Post-it notes, but even your tolerance of this habit in others shocks me!

Oh, I think it depends on the annotator - obviously it's annoying if people write so much that it obscures the text, and if highlighters are used it becomes intolerable, but on more than one occasion last year I found myself reading a library copy of a novel with annotations that enhanced my reading experience, if not because they were enlightening then at least because they were amusing.

It's not quite defacing, but there was an old woman in my town that used to write her initials (in pencil) inside any library book that she had read. It often happened that I would subsequently read the same book (I think we had the same taste in books) and I used to love getting a book from the library, seeing her initials and wondering what she had thought of the book

Our library encourages people to put their initials in any book they have read but I think they glue in a little bit of paper for this purpose.  I don't mind people writing a little on books; I will correct a missing word or similar piece of bad grammar since I read it and think, "Has no one else noticed this or do they just not care?"

But NZers tend to be well-behaved and not at all fond of being growled at so not many of our library books do have anything written on them.

Cheers, Caro.

I hate it when books have been written in, even in pencil.  I don't mind initials/names etc in the fly leaf or frontispiece but definitely not comments on the text as you go along.  I especially hate it in library books.  If you must write in a book, write in your own book for your own use, not somebody else's book (ie the library's).

This probably stems from my over-strict mother being over-strict when it came to me inadvertently scribbling in books when too young to understand that you're not supposed to - a time in my childhood when I scribbled on everything and probably drove her nuts.


I was brought up that books were precious, you DO NOT write anything in them or deface them in any way. If you want to write about a book buy a notebook and write in that.  I felt guilty about writing my name inside the front cover when I took them to school to read, and always wrote it on a label which I could carefully peel off again later. I buy a lot of books from charity shops and am shocked sometimes as to the amount of writing I find in books, if it is in pencil I will go through the book with an eraser and rub out everything that is written, because I find it distracting when I am try to read the book. I have actually taken to standing in the charity shop and going through books I want to buy to check if anyone has written in them.

I generally dislike pencilled notes in books (though in my case I've mainly encountered them in second-hand books, which I suppose is fair enough). My problem is that I often find myself disagreeing with them, and getting annoyed that the annotator isn't there in person for me to have a good old argument with. Yes, I'm afraid I'm the sort that argues with the television - much to my wife's irritation.  Wink

I never really minded the initials on the flyleaf, which is very common. But those who rely on this method to remember what they have read frequently come unstuck, for instance when a library has more than one copy of a title, or when the single copy is rebound. I've certainly come across anonymous 'initiallers' who seem to share my tastes, but of course there is no way of knowing if they enjoyed the book or not!

I forgot the last bookmark I received and the story with it.  Just before my last birthday my mother's best friend, as was her wont, sent me a letter and with it a present of a bookmark called an oriental carpet bookmark and made in Istanbul, with a lovely pattern on it and fringed ends.  I was deciding whether to open the card this came in or wait till my birthday when I opened my emails, and there was one from a cousin saying the lady sending this bookmark had died that morning.  Oddly and very coincidentally when my mother died many many years ago she had sent a letter than morning to her friend (the one sending me the bookmark).

I will have mentioned before my beautiful Bible before which just goes to show that crime does pay!  And so does writing in books.  At my Sunday School I wrote my name in the leather-bound and copyright 1892 Holman edition of the Bible, which has gold edgings and a concordance and an atlas of Biblical places and a dictionary of its words, and is altogether delicious.  When the church was closed down when I was about 20, I was given this book as it had my name in it.  (I expected it to have my address down to The Universe, The World, but it doesn't seem to have that.)

For the first time today I have opened the very front cover (how come I have never done that before?) and seen the real owner.  I will not be trying to trace her - it is the same surname as our Sunday School teachers so maybe was their mother.  I love my Bible and cannot regret writing my name in it.  

Cheers, a very wicked Caro.

I loved reading about your Bible, Caro! Thanks for sharing. And how naughty!!  Shocked
I have used the same bookmark for ages. It's an art deco pattern on card and laminated and was given to me by my sister-in-law (an ideal present from her as she lives in San Francisco- cheap to post).
But... I lost it over Christmas!!! Strange coincidence is that my mother-in-law sent me three more. Spooky!

I love reading inscriptions in books and often find myself wondering about the people.

I have a Bible I bought from a charity shop which has a label inside saying:

"Presented to Horace Johnson by the Board of Managers of the Metropolitan and Police Orphanage on the occasion of his Confirmation.  March 1 1906."

I presume Horace grew up in the Police orphanage and that his father was a policeman.  What happened to Horace subsequently?  I'd love to know.

Yesterday my husband in one of his tidyings came out frowning.  "Do you really need 17 bookmarks?"  (I didn't like to point him to the extra four on the table and the couple in my purse and...) "Lots of them are the same," he said.  That is because I tend to pick one up when I am at the library since I never seem to have one with me at the right time.

Cheers, Caro.

If there are any bookmark fans around who are in the mood to invest in more books, it's worth buying from the Book Depository, either from their own website or via Amazon, as for a limited time you will get one of their specially designed bookmarks free with your order. Some of them are lovely:

Thanks for that they are lovely. I have several Book Thongs for marking my place in books. I don't know if anyone's seen them but they are thin lengths of cord decorated at each end with beads, crystals and charms.

As happened this time last year, there are more attractive bookmarks being sent out by the Book Depository: Sadly it doesn't say on the page which book is meant to be depicted by each one, but I know no. 2 is La Gloire de Mon Père because I've just received one.

I have several bookmarks, but I only use one for my current read.  I have two in my copy of Shakespeare's sonnets, and a couple more that have gone missing, but as one is a lace one made by my great-aunt I know it will be around somewhere safe.  I am devoted to my "current read" bookmark, and will keep it until it's almost falling apart.  My last current read bookmark lasted about ten years before I decided enough was enough, and I went out to paperchase and bought myself a new one.  Plain cardboard is the only choice for me unless the book has a ribbon, in which case I will use that.  I also lots of torn-up post-it notes in my cookery books so I know where favourite recipes are!

Incidentally, I got the wrong end of the stick in my last post. The new bookmarks from the Book Depository don't represent particular books, but they do name the artist's favourite book on the back.

Lately I've begun the practice of finding a picture via Google appropriate to the book I'm reading, like a picture of the author, or a painting connected with it or something. I print it on photo paper, cut it out, and use it as a bookmark.  

I long for these bookmarks...

Chibiabos83 wrote:
I long for these bookmarks...

Oh...I want them all Very Happy

Chibiabos wrote:
I long for these bookmarks...
All those bookmarks could quite easily be homemade! there are many free downloads available on the net of all those charts and it would be a very simple case of transplanting it onto a bookmarked shaped card - which could be done on any DTP package or even Word, after you have printed it off all you have to do would be to laminate it and that is easy with a bit of clear Fablon which can be bought for a couple of quid for long roll from Wilkinsons or supermarkets.

Over the years I've always picked up the free bookmarks, advertising new books, you find on the counters in bookshops. I have a drawer full. When I start a new book I type a relevant word or two into Google Images, choose a good one, then print it on photo paper and use it as a bookmark. It remains with the book when it goes back on the shelf.  My current read of JB Priestley's 'The Good Companions' has a bookmark depicting Jessie Matthews in the film version.
Green Jay

What a clever idea, Mike - though photo paper is quite expensive, isn't it? I just pick up bookmarks from bookshops, museums etc. My current one is from the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, which is an interesting mix of Georgian townhouse and very modern galleries built on the side. There's a very nice bookshop there with lots of arty volumes. Nice cafe too - or I shoud probably say restaurant. Quite posh. In the summer you can sit out in a  small courtyard with wonderful pleached trees in it, very modern and architectural. Perhaps they are not so much pleached as made into umbrellas - anyway, thoroughly trained.

My current favourite bookmark was given to me by my grandson. It is bright emerald green, with the sort of design that changes according to the angle at which you view it - I'm sure there is a technical name, but it escapes me. Looked at from one angle, it shows my name - Christine - vertically, from another, it is displayed horizontally.

The reason I love it so much is that when he gave it to me, he explained its purpose in words that had obviously been memorised from an explanation he had been given, but which clearly made little sense to him. 'It is so that when you haven't finished reading your book, you can find out where you got up to'. He is a very good reader for a five-year-old, but none of the books he has read so far contains more than 16 pages, and it was quite clear that he found it pretty impossible to understand why an adult would fail to finish a book once they had started to read it, let alone have problems remembering which page they had reached.

Whenever I look at that particular bookmark, I chuckle to myself rememberng his puzzlement. I just hope that over the next few years, he will begin to appreciate the pleasure to be gained from immersing oneself in something too long to be read at a single sitting. At least he doesn't find it strange that his grandma reads books at all!

I have lots of lovely bookmarks, some made for me. The one I'm using at present is one of those nice leather ones you can get in museums and places, it is from Gloucester Folk Museum. I can't remember if someone gave it to me or I bought it there.

Green Jay Wrote:
What a clever idea, Mike - though photo paper is quite expensive, isn't it?
Photo quality paper can be picked up very cheaply if you know where to look, you can get quite good quality results and it doesn't need to be the high quality branded glossy photo paper I print a lot of photo's and so I shop around, supermarkets own brand can provide reasonable results and are always a good source bargain prices and offers and online stockists, of course.

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