I Have A Confession… Bookmarks!

Yes, bookmarks… you heard it here first.  Don’t judge me!

I have collected bookmarks from all over the world all my life, since a wee child… umm ya, and unfortunately, I’m no closer to collecting them all (evil laugh)… but I shall never stop!

Okay, really, I just love all kinds of bookmarks that depict books, are about books and have book related pictures on it, old or new. I get a few from authors who know of my bookmark fetish and want to enable my ISSUE! I’ve even, now don’t think me a sad pony, get them as gifts from family as my present for Christmas and birthdays. Yup, I have a bunch of people out hunting up and buying me bookmarks in the dozens for the holidays.

They can be made of all types of materials–but they must be bookish.  I’ve received some really fantastic bookmarks from readers/followers, thank you Gina, Hailey and Scott (holy crap: cool handmade bookmark ever-love the fairy at the top); they can be homemade originals, commercial bookmarks, wooden ones, metal ones… I could go on. Doesn’t matter what they are, if book related–they’re MINE! (another evil laugh).  Ya, ya… enough with the cursed laughing…

I use them all when I review books and read arcs, and sometimes many at a time, because I am reading three or four books or arcs, making notes, etc. with release dates looming… bookmarks keep me organized.

Bookmarks have been the very necessity of my life’s passions: writing and reading (not too dramatic). They sometimes have helpful information on them: like websites, telephone and other contact information, author sites, book stores, yup I’ll even take those.

A friend of mine recently visited a bookstore and purchased a few books. They gave her a bookmark, nothing special, along with the purchase. It had the store information on it. She didn’t want it… SHE DIDN’T WANT IT… and proceeded to toss it in the garbage, but thankfully, I was perceptive of her unappreciative discard and flew through the air to intercept her tossing of such a treasure, catching the wonder with one hand…. Not really, it was more like, “Hey, don’t you want that?” To which she quickly offered it to me instead.

Like I said, I have this… obsession.

Many have tried an intervention. “Do you really NEED all those bookmarks?” Well duh, ya I do! Why don’t you?

I recently attended a local school for one of my children’s book readings and I soon discovered to my complete and utter shock that they’d heard all about my, erm, love for bookmarks.  They made me these adorable ones, so cute, cut out of felt and foam and some with eyeballs that move and funny faces… OMG! I was on a bookmark high! I had these lovely urchins (yes! I said urchins!) sign them and add their age and year of creation to the back, after all, a work of art is a work of art… I will add them to my bookmark treasure chest where they will reside FOREVER! (boooha ha ha)

Some days, I have great difficulty in selecting which bookmark I’m to use.  It takes great thought since you don’t want to use a fantasy book bookmark for an arc about baseball, nor do you wish to use a butterfly reading a book bookmark for a science fiction involving robots and death-rays. <sighs> It’s quite the task.

However, one of the best moments involving a bookmark, the highlight of all highlights… is when you purchase a book at a thrift store, open the book to read and find… yes, you guessed it, a bookmark hidden inside. I even found a ten dollar bill inside a book once and was so excited! Then I realized it was mine that I had used one night during late night reading and didn’t have the appropriate bookmark handy for my choice of read. Wouldn’t that be cool if it actually happened? I read somewhere that during the early 1800s, it wasn’t uncommon for people to hide their money in old books… Oooo, another reason to search through old books at an estate auction…

From research, I discovered that the first detached, and therefore collectible, bookmarkers began to appear in the 1850s. One of the first references to these is found in Mary Russell Mitford’s Recollections of a Literary Life (1852): “I had no marker and the richly bound volume closed as if instinctively.” Note the abbreviation of ‘bookmarker’ to ‘marker’. The modern abbreviation is usually ‘bookmark.’ Most nineteenth-century bookmarks were intended for use in bibles and prayer books and were made of ribbon or woven silk. By the 1880s the production of woven silk markers was declining and printed markers made of stiff paper or card began to appear in significant numbers. This development paralleled the wider availability of books themselves, and the range of available bookmarkers soon expanded dramatically.

Bookmarks have a history!  I think something so important and useful and necessary… YES I SAID NECESSARY… (breathe)… should be spoken about once in a while and even celebrated. I hate, yes HATE… those villains who fold down the corner of a page to mark where they left off… earmarks, UGH! Okay, I don’t hate them… but UGGGGGh!

Ya, okay, I have a problem, but it could be worse.  I can’t help it if I think everyone should at least own one bookmark, maybe two… Perhaps, make it a mandatory law.

So there you have it, my confession. Do with it as you will, just don’t judge me.  My fetish doesn’t kill, it just annoys…

If you have a similar obsession or wish to share information about your own collection, I always enjoy receiving snail mail, feel free to drop me a letter, I will respond to it!

Mail me:

J.L. Slipak,

238 Westside Road,

Port Colborne,

Ontario,

Canada, L3K 5K9

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