Hold That Page: Do You Use a Bookmark?

As an English teacher and avid reader, friends, family, and students often give me book-themed gifts.  To that end, I’ve amassed quite a collection of bookmarks. 

I have traditional paper bookmarks with images of Shakespeare or flowers emblazoned on them; I have ribbon bookmarks with beads and trinkets dangling from the end; I have metal bookmarks that are essentially ornate paperclips.  What I’m trying to say is that I have whole drawers (or draws as we say in Jersey) full of bookmarks.

So, are you ready for the punchline, or did you see it coming from a mile off? 

I rarely, if ever, use any of the bookmarks.  Usually, I  grab whatever’s handy to mark my place–a ponytail holder, a bill, a stray piece of grosgrain ribbon, or even a dollar or coin. 

I’m not sure why I don’t use my bookmarks–maybe because I don’t have them handy when I’m reading?  What I can tell you is that under no circumstances will I dog-ear a page or leave the book open to my page, face down, in a cruel, spine breaking Russian-split.  (I can hear the book screaming in agony and protest!)

I’m not persnickety when it comes to marking my pages and will grab whatever’s handy…but how about YOU?  Are you a spine-breaker?  A dog-ear-er?  Or do you have a favorite bookmark that you just can’t live without?

37 responses to “Hold That Page: Do You Use a Bookmark?

  1. I’m a bookmark user and collector. I dog-eared for years though…till I was 20 or 21. Now I shudder at the idea.
    Anything can be a bookmark…often it’s movie tickets.
    My good friend went to Japan for holiday and brought me back an exquisitely painted balsa-wood bookmark.

  2. I never dog-ear, too. I will use anything nearby for a bookmark, usually grocery receipts. But for the most part I use bookmarks of bookish ads that I get from libraries. I have favourites, depending on the content of the bookmark. I don’t like embellished bookmarks, or anything that isn’t completely flat, and I don’t like anything that isn’t paper, as I fear they might damage the pages.

  3. Usually I use about anything…like you. I’ve used hair ties, candy wrappers, paper scraps..etc. I only dog-ear when I REALLY can’t find anything…or if I’m in bed and too lazy, and even then sometimes I’ll just do my best to remember the page number or find a good chapter stopping point. I do love pretty bookmarks, though.

  4. I do it all. I dog-ear (gasp!), but only to paperbacks that I’m not enjoying. I’m a spine breaker. I have a handful of pretty bookmarks, none of which I use. The book receipt tends to be what holds my place most often, or a hardcover’s jacket.

  5. T.P. makes a good bookmark.

    I do not dogear as I feel it’s book abuse (plus, I borrow books and feel like I should return them in the same state of which they’re lent).

    My mom got me a magnetic one so you could mark exactly where you left off. I used it for a while and then it got lost in the bed. 😦
    Right now, I’m using my brass “friends” one. I also have one with a penguin on it.

  6. i love bookmarks, but i really need to keep post-its near me more often to mark passages…because without them I either have to remember the page number of the passage or dog-ear the page…which I hate doing.

  7. funny that your rating system is bookmarks when you don’t actually USE bookmarks…haha 🙂 I do usually use a bookmark. At one point I had a huge collection of them, but somewhere along the way I lost most of them. Now I use either some cardstock ones with pretty paper that I got for a couple bucks on etsy.com (there are some really cute ones on there!) or a small, narrow metal one with the quote “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” on it.

  8. I use unlined index cards as bookmarks, mostly b/c as I’m reading I tend to jot notes or words of interest (or my grocery list or a call I need to make). I have stacks of index cards about the house—in the kitchen drawer, at my desk, in my purse—always handy for when I start a new read.

  9. no dog earing…no spine breaking…just one square of TP (2 at most).

    • i’m afraid to ask why TP is so handy when you need to mark your page. i’m not even going to go there.

      • with a 15 yr old and a 2 month old…sometimes the place where tp is most handy is the only piece of solitude i get to actually read. there is no shame in my game…i’m a bathroom reader! so if you borrow a book from me, it’s most likely been flagged. lol

  10. Mother the Librarian trained me well. No book abuse in this household, and I always use a bookmark–usually a magnetic one so I don’t have to worry about fall-out. I normally have a small batch of post-it flags as well, which I use to mark passages.

  11. I either use bookmarks or attempt to remember the stopping point. I never dog-ear and avoid using improvised items (especially toilet paper, which is just too wispy and sloppy).

    Bookmarks in my quiver: I have a couple of composite artsy things from MOMA that I use most often. I also know how to origami-fold a nifty deltoid “cap” that sits unobtrusively on a page’s corner.

    PannieTip™ The best free bookmarks are paint samples from the hardware store. If you always have a selection on hand, you can pick one that color-coordinates with your current read.

    nat says: sometimes i play the memory game too–try to remember where i left off without a marker. usually it ends in frustration and me skimming a bunch of pages.

  12. Gasp…Guilty as charged…but never to library books or to books that don’t belong to me. I also have been known to write in the margins esp. with book club selections. I have a lovely collection of bookmarks…never can find them. Use a post it note lots of times. or those darn inserts that fall out of magazines.

    • okay, i was just grousing about those evil magazine subscription cards the other day. i believe i’ll dedicate an entire post to them in the near future…and it won’t be pretty.

  13. I use an envelope holder thingy…and yes, I’m sure thet’s the technical term…to hold all of mine.

    I have that many to ensure that there is always a colorful and diverse selection available as, and don’t laugh, to match the book I’m reading.

    Okay, you can giggle if you like, but I am one that has this thing about the bookmark matching the cover of whatever I’m reading at the time.

    I see a bookmark not only as a useful tool but an accessory. And I have no clue why.

    • what exactly is an evelope holder thingy? i’m trying to imagine. as for bookmarks matching books–who am i to judge? i organize my bookshelves by COLOR. ha.

  14. You should hear the arguments that occur around my house about this very subject. We are all such book lovers and we argue about who is breaking a spine, who is using something they shouldn’t for a bookmark, etc. I love to use one. I just have to get one out when I get the book out!

  15. Thanks for sending me the link to your blog! I love it. I’m a bookmark girl.

  16. I usually try to remember the page and, if that doesn’t work, I flip through to the last part of the story that I remember. It’s no big deal and it takes less than a minute to find my place.

    My father once reamed me out for dog earing pages and I never did it again.

  17. no dogeared pages for me either…lately I have gravitated towards the magnetic bookmarks. If I don’t have one available, then I use a scrap of whatever flat thing is nearby…it’s funny how many of us use movie ticket stubs for the same thing 🙂

  18. Get this: I never highlighted or wrote in my college textbooks. When I returned them to the bookstore they looked new.

  19. Mainly my bookmarks are either free bookmarks I received in a bookshop, or some receipts. I rarely let the book open, mainly because I hate to break their spine, but also because I tend to drop it and the lose the page. Arg!

  20. Dogearing is bad, bad, bad. I use random bookmarks that I get out of O Magazine or from authors/publicists when they send me books. My favorite bookmark lately has been a bookmark I got from the Metropolitan Opera in a mailing. Also, on the Kindle bookmarking is very easy I don’t have to worry about a physical bookmark falling out.

  21. For books I’m reviewing, I use the media release form. That way I have something handy to write any notes.

    For general reading, no bookmarks for me at all. I usually have a couple of books going at a time and I can generally find where I am up to reasonably quickly.

    If I do resort to using something to mark my place (no dog-ears or spine-bending for me) I like something flat and usually use whatever scrap of paper I can find. Business cards are especially good.

  22. Oh God — as with most things in my life, I’m totally OCD about my bookmarks. My favorite ones are thin, preferably made of cardstock or a similarly thick paper and not too long — I hate when bookmarks hang out of both ends of a book! Distasteful!

    If I’m really desperate, I use the Borders receipts or whatever to mark my place. But I’ve actually gotten to the point that I… uh… well, there’s no delicate way to say this: I carry extra bookmarks in my purse. And a blue book light. I know, I’m a freak. Let the ridicule begin! 🙂

  23. Pingback: ‘Corner’ing the Market: My new favorite bookmark « Book, Line, and Sinker

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