Bookmarks: one is never enough

Coming up with a blog post is a bit like planning a dinner party. A week or so before, I start thinking about the theme, developing and discarding a variety of ideas, always wondering what will have appeal. As with most things, when I am thinking about something else, the solution becomes apparent.

On Sunday afternoon, while enjoying the recent gorgeous weather, I took the opportunity to continue Chris Bohjalian’s The Light in the Ruins. As I opened the book and held the bookmark, I found myself pondering the bookmark –I collect them and have many — rather than the words on the page. At that moment I realized bookmarks that bookmarks would be my next blog topic. I put the book down and went inside to survey my assortment of bookmarks. I had never really looked at them as a group. Usually, I just grab one when I pause reading. I lined them up, counted them and gave consideration to each; where it was from, how long I had it, and how well it marked pages; some bookmarks are attractive, but not practically useful.

29 bookmarks!  I rarely use more than two at a time. I have my favorites but I do try to rotate them. Several were made by my children when they were in preschool and elementary school. I hope to have these forever. They don’t take up much space, they bring me back to another time and always lead to a smile. My sister-in-law pressed a four-leaf clover (top left bookmark, above), laminated it, and added some raffia, turning it into a bookmark, which made a lovely gift. Another is from Ireland (the bookmark below the 4-leaf clover, above), a souvenir from my in-laws. Then there’s the “book thong” (third from left in photo to the right) which makes an awesome bookmark because it never slides out from between the pages!

My oldest bookmark (second from left in photo to the right), is from a middle school friend, which she brought back from a trip to Hungary. It’s a terrific bookmark because it doesn’t easily slide out from between pages, and it’s light and attractive. Another was handmade from a piece of heavy red paper with a postage stamp of a Maurice Sendak character (second from right in top photo). It’s perfect for an avid reader of children’s books and a sentimental reminder of library school. A few of my bookmarks are impractical, but cute. I find that small weighted bookmarks slip out from between pages, failing to mark the page, as a good bookmark should. When this happens, I hope that the bookmark has at least made a separation between the pages so I can locate the page where I left off by letting the book “fall open”. I have limited success with this strategy so I tend not to use these bookmarks. But I wouldn’t think of getting rid of them!

So how many bookmarks are enough? I don’t think I could have too many although I’ll never use them all at the same time. What about you –how many bookmarks do you have?

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