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Hazel

Bookmarks

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A flippant discussion is called for now as we approach the festive silly season. Bookmarks. As with my books I am really anal about what I use for a bookmark. It has to be leather (as it sticks to the page, doesn't fall out, and doesn't damage the page or spine) and it has to be interesting (not the latest World books freebie).

 

The reason this topic is in my mind is because I usually stick to this rule, and have done for many years but I was in Borders on Saturday and was seduced by a pretty silk embroidered bookmark and a trendy plastic one. They are currently in use in my 'currently reading' books and I am determined to get over my hang up about using leather bookmarks. BUT I can't stop fretting that they are damaging my books, or that they have slipped out.

 

I realise about 90% of you will be laughing at my neurosis, but there may be a small faction that feel the same!

 

(please don't even mention dog earing the pages or I will completely break down)

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My dear old Mum always buys me bookmarks, and they are usually leather. I always thought they were too thick and that they might damage the book. And why do they have to have frayed ends?

 

Most of mine of come and go; the only two I have kept for a long time are ones of places I've visited. Both in shiny laminated cardboard, though I must admit I've never had a problem with them slipping out.

 

Tassles are to be avoided at all times.

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I'm not sure you'll want to hear this Hazel, so I suggest putting your hands over your ears :D I tend to use whatever comes to hand - receipts, envelopes, postcards, even sweet wrappers and yes sometimes they fall out, or get pulled out by my cats, and I always manage to find my place again. Sometimes I don't use a bookmark at all, just remember the page number.

 

I have got some nice bookmarks though, bookcrossers have sent me some lovely ones, I'm using one at the moment, cardboard with a brightly coloured, embossed peacock on it. I also have a couple of books strings which are a bit long for paperbacks, but great as cat toys!

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Yup - I'm with you on that one, Starry. I tend to use Asda receipts or corners torn off an envelope - I'm not sure I even own a proper bookmark, although a few free giveaway ones may have found their way into the house. My current bookmark is an out of date information sheet from some medication of a rather personal nature......must remember to take it out before I give the book back :o

 

My favourite bookmark is to borrow a piece of the kids' toy money. There's something very satisfying about using a £20 note as a bookmark - even if it is from the Early Learning Centre :D

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Train tickets are the best in my view. As I get older and harder to buy presents for I get given more and more proper book marks but, like all the best pens, they vanish into the void. Every now and then I clean under the sofa and the bed and for about a week my book is beautifully marked but it never lasts.

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I always use nice cards that people have given me. Not only are they jolly, they remind me of the sender and they are also disposable enough that I don't mind when they drop out of the book into the bath.

 

I have also been known to use receipts etc. and to my knowledge, have never bought a bookmark.

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I knew bringing this topic up would cause me distress -

 

I don't know why leather ones have to have a fringed end - it drives me mad too.

 

Tickets, receipts, corners from envelopes - yikes!! they could have all kinds of grubby marks, salty residues that would contaminate the pages!!!

 

yes - they do disappear into the odd sock and pen void - but I have a special mug, with the old style Penguin cover on it, which sits on my bookshelf and holds my collection of bookmarks and every time I change a book, I pick out an appropriate bookmark for the duration. That way I don't lose them!

 

LOVE the idea of using kiddie money - though I would have to get my hubby to laminate it first so it doesn't grubby-up a page.

 

Okay I can't belive I admitted the depths of my condition and am thoroughly ashamed. For my penance I will visit Borders and pick out some lovely bookmarks, non-leather. Well, it is a 12 step programme...

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The worst ones i have seen are these Book Thongs which are basically a bit of string with beads and fluffly c**p at the ends - the string must just shear through the spine over time!

 

Must aski myself if I am thinking too much about this topic, or maybe even a little over-reactionary...

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It certainly needs to be a 'proper' bookmark and, like you, Hazel, I'm likely to suffer a 'going postal' breakdown if someone bends over the corner of a page. A friend did lambast me once for leaving a book open, face down, to keep the place, lecturing me on the risks of spinal trauma, but even I thought that was going a bit too far.

 

My current bookmark is my longest-serving. I bought it on a school trip to the site of the Battle of Bosworth Field when I was about 13. It is leather with various embossed crests etc., and has those tassled bits, though I quite like those for occasional sessions of tactile fiddling during the read.

 

My favourite had been a jokey one with a full-blown wool tassle given to me by a former girlfriend. I kept it long after we'd split up (and didn't mention its origins to future dalliances!), but tragically I left it inside a book (Snow Falling on Cedars) in a hotel in Caracas, Venezuela. Fond as I was of it, I had to concede it was a lost cause!

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A friend did lambast me once for leaving a book open, face down, to keep the place, lecturing me on the risks of spinal trauma, but even I thought that was going a bit too far.

 

Going too far??? I beg to differ. A book casually cast aside in such an obviously traumatic position causes me much distress! Clearly we all have our funny little ways.

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A friend did lambast me once for leaving a book open, face down, to keep the place, lecturing me on the risks of spinal trauma, but even I thought that was going a bit too far.

 

 

Oh dear God...can there be a WORST crime in the book world? I am going to have to sit down...I can't bear books being treated like that!!!

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It has to be a proper bookmark as far as I'm concerned, I accept no substitutes and abhor page folding, a particular bugbear of mine as a regular reader of 2nd hand books as you find the book always seems to fall open at that page.

 

However, I find the leather bookmarks I've had become stiff and brittle after a time and what is it with fringes and tassles - who thought those were a good idea? I have several bookmarks where they have broken off - not attractive.

 

I will admit guilt as a spine breaker. I don't even normally notice it happening. It must be the way I hold books open.

 

The majority of my bookmarks are the free ones the library gives away or those ones with quotes on you can get from some bookstores. Three I'm particulalrly fond of are:

 

"When I read a good book I wish life were a thousand years long" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

"From the moment I picked your book up until I put it back down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day, I intend reading it" - Groucho Marx

 

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest" - Mark Twain

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I have a leather one with an Emily Dickinson quote on it "I dwell in possibility" which is a particular fave of mine and I save for doorstep books.

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Oh dear, it seems I'm guilty of quite a lot of Book-abuse when it comes to page-folding, spine straining and everything else...will I ever make a good Librarian?! Maybe I'll reform...I do like bookmarks but they never ever hang around long enough and for some reason I don't like using train tickets it seems wrong, lol, I guess I've got my priorities mixed up! I had a lovely Maltese lace one at some point and it went off on its own adventure somewhere. I would like a good Jane Austen book mark or similar (hint to ManDaraX for Christmas!!!).

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While I have a bookmark it is presently AWOL (again), so I'm using a B&Q till reciept at the moment. I wont bend spines or fold corners of pages.

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For really nice hardback books I would use a really nice bookmark. However, I rarely read nice new hardbacks, and when it comes to paperbacks I'm less fussy; I belong to the bus ticket, till receipt school of bookmarkers. My favourite 'bookmark' is the little piece of cardboard you get in a pack of pop-socks, which I can also use to jot down anything I want to make note of (usually spelling/grammar mistakes) while reading the book.

 

Mostly I read in bed, and there is a ledge next to the bed that is just the width of a paperback book, and my current read is sitting on there, the (larger) unread portion face down on the ledge, and the thinner section hanging down at an angle of 90degrees to it.

 

While someone holds a burnt feather under Hazel's nose I will put my worst bookmarking habits in a spoiler!

 

. I sometimes fix a hairgrip, or even a paperclip onto the page I want to mark! Also, if i'm carrying it out with me in a bag I put an elastic band around the pages I've read, and another around the entire book (to keep it closed)

 

 

In spite of this, I hate to see a book that has been dogeared, because the corner that has been folded will eventually snap off.

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It's interesting to see how strongly everyone feels about this!

 

I must admit, I fall into thecamp of whatever comes to hand as a bookmark. Train tickets are a very good source of markerage!

 

I would never, never, never fold over the corner of the page. I may leave it open as David said, but that would only be with older library books (shouldn't say that, should I?!) which already have broken spines. I like paperbacks to look unread, and I barely open them to read them, let alone bend the spine to keep the page!

 

I do have 2 bookmarks - one came with a book token card and one came free in a christmas cracker a couple of years ago. Surprisingly, I haven't lost either of them yet (well not permanently anyway!). They live on my bedside table, so they are to hand when I need to grab a marker as I dose off!

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I am glad that I am not the only one who feels so strongly about this important and vital issue. But...(deep breath), Megustaleer...(another deep breath...nails along desk)... a PAPERCLIP?!?!?!?!? It could tear the page, warp the page, leak rusty marks onto the page...aaarrrgggghhhhhhhhh.....

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I like paperbacks to look unread, and I barely open them to read them, let alone bend the spine to keep the page!

I used to be like that (the logical extension being, "...but I'm much better now..." !). I also used to cover all my new paperbacks with that clear sticky covering (Can you still buy it now? Used to get mine from Smith's) which kept the covers clean and stopped them curling back as the cheaper ones were wont to do. This was a bit of an art, though, if you wanted to avoid creases and air bubbles! Then, one day, I just stopped. I have no idea why!

 

I should make it clear that when placing an open book on its face I do so with care. I don't then proceed to sit on it or use it as a coaster for my coffee. Its spine remains just fine: think of it as yoga for books!

;)

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Slight diversion from Bookmarks, but I like books to look read. Part of reading for me is when and where I read a book and who else has read it. I am struggling at the moment to throw away a two volume copy of War and Peace which has travelled all over the world and was last read by my son on a Greek beach. The cover is falling off and it smells vaguely of Ambre Solaire. I have already bought the Wordsworth edition replacement but somehow the old, used copy keeps finding its way back on the shelf. I am interested to know why you would want a copy you have read to be in pristine condition?

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Before all my bookshelves were full of books, and my rooms were full of bookshelves I used to enjoy browsing in second-hand-book shops, and many of my books are other people's discards.

 

I actually love books that look as though they have been well read, and particularly those that have been annotated, or have inscriptions ...especially the ones with inscriptions.

 

I have just acquired 4 'Mary Plain' books that are older than I am. If they were pristine I could sell them on Amazon for oodles of money, but they are tatty, inscribed and the illustrations have been coloured in ...and I love them!

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I must confess to being one of those people who likes thier books to look read. Hardbacks I keep nice and lovely in their dustjackets, but paperbacks age about 5 years in the time I take to read them! I'm one of those awful people who folds pages and will use anything and everything as a bookmark, or will leave a book face down to mark my place. Sorry.

 

But oddly I never used to be like this. When I was younger (much younger than I am now, think junior school age) I collected bookmarks. I have no idea why this started but it did. I had hundreds o the things. Whenever I visited anywhere I'd always buy a bookmark (usually those leather ones) to remind me of the place. When I was a Brownie I did my Collectors badge using my bookmark collection. I put them all in nice folders with labels and in some kind of order. For some reason I stopped buying bookmarks a few years ago, probably when I stopped going on school trips! My favourite was one my dad bought me when he went on a work trip to Australia (no idea why!!!) - it was a leather kangaroo whose head poked over the top of the book! I still have all the bookmarks today, they're kept back at home in the nice folders I put them in so long ago... I may start collecting again you know, it's nice to have some kind of collection even if it's a slightly weird one like that!

 

The oddest thing about all that is that even when I was an obsessive bookmark collector I never really used more than about three of them because I didn't want to spoil or lose them... I'm a very strange person like that! :D

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Despite all my book abuse, I've never had one fall apart. How long does it take for it to happen?! To me reading is about what on the pages, not the outer book, some of you sound like book fetishists! (please take that the right way!!!) Plus I read lots of cheap classics... at uni I made lots and lots of thin strips of paper as book marks for various books, with useful clues as to why I'd marked out that page written on like 'Theme:marriage' or 'Feminism: 1930s', that sort of stuff.

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