As a booklover, I’m also quite a fan of bookmarks. I like to pick up the free ones that bookshops give away, especially if I found a good bookshop on holiday, but I also have some nice ones I paid for or was given as gifts. And yet in my day-to-day reading I’m just as likely to use a random scrap of paper to mark my place as I am to search out a proper bookmark.
To take the photo below, which I’m pretty sure is barely half of my bookmarks, I scoured shelves and books alike. In some cases the bookmark was a reminder of where the book came from. But just as often I found receipts or ticket stubs in the back of books and I quite like the variety of memories they bring back. A restaurant bill reminds me of sitting on the harbourside in the sunshine a few years back with a glass of wine and a Colette book before Tim joined me for dinner. A corner torn from a newspaper puzzle page reminds me of doing crosswords with Tim after we both put our books down of a weekend morning.
So why do I still like bookmarks? Well, they can provide memories too (and, as I said, the majority of those pictured were left behind in books, so it’s no wonder I often can’t find one and use whatever scrap of paper is handy!). Those that are gifts remind me of the giver, including one bookmark I still use now that was given to me by a friend when we were 9 or 10 years old. They often, unsurprisingly, have bookish quotes or phrases on them, which are things I like. And sometimes they are just simply things of beauty.
Do you collect bookmarks? Do you use them? Or do you prefer to use something you can leave behind in the book that reminds you of when you read it?