I certainly don’t approve of dog eared paged. I don’t hate the people who do this, I just won’t lend them any of my books. I am a bookmark user through and through. If I had nothing to serve as a bookmark, I would rather go without.
This isn’t a post on the merits of either system though. This is no rant. Instead, it is meant as a query as to what kind of bookmarks you use.
According to Wikipedia, bookmarks have been in use since medieval times. In those cases they were either a small strip of parchment or cord attached to the folio. The basic idea being that a bookmark was needed that did not ruin the valuable book pages. Various bookmarks developed over time to include ribbons, material strips and any number of things. Paper or cardboard bookmarks became more popular as books became more accessible to the general public.
Again, according to Wikipedia, some of these early bookmarks are quite collectible. Despite my predilection for collecting things–check out my posts (yes, I have written three of them) on the inadvertent collection–I somehow don’t see myself starting a collection of these things. Despite that, I would definitely recommend the following website to learn about the history of bookmarks and to see some fascinating books that showcase collections of bookmarks. I am probably going to order the Japanese one.
As for me, I tend to use labels and clothing tags as bookmarks. Whenever I buy new clothes, or get something with a tag on it, I keep it. Since I don’t buy too many clothes, they don’t tend to stack up too much. Besides, sometimes I lose them–probably because I dropped them on the bus.
My library is also good enough to provide me with bookmarks. These are often at the circulation desk or included in some colourful display. I am not particularly fond of these because they seem to purposeful. I prefer the make your own bookmark idea rather than, this is an official bookmark idea. I know that sounds crazy, but that is what I do.
I have never bought a bookmark, though I have seen them at the front counter of bookstores. Over the years, my students have often given me bookmarks they have purchased while traveling or as gifts from their countries. I once received a leather bookmark from one of the Scandinavian countries. I wanted to include a picture, and despite a clear memory of seeing it recently, I could not locate it in time for this post. Additionally, I have received some beautiful gold bookmarks from Korea, but I gave them away to friends and family in one of my purges–I wasn’t using them and I thought they would appreciate them more than I would. As a result, I cannot show you any photographs of those either.
When I lived in Japan, the bookstore often included bookmarks when I made a purchase. Publishers even included them in books. In both cases, this is called “omake”( 御負け), or bonus. Since the Japanese publishing industry is still quite lucrative, such bonuses are not hard to understand. In fact, These stores often wrap books in protective covers for you (including low priced paperbacks) and many books come in boxes to preserve them.
I also tend to make bookmarks out of things that catch my attention. I have included a photo of possible bookmarks. While I do not often use them, I would rather use these options than crease the corners.
How about you? I would love to hear what you use for bookmarks, as I am sure so would many others.