Ode to Bookmarks: the new endengered species?

I love my e-reader. It’s light; it’s powerful; it holds oh so many wonderful reads in one stylish rectangle of intelligent plastic. But I have a confession to make. Each night I feel daggers of pain shoot through my mercenary soul when switching the lights off and reaching for one of my many, and now increasingly redundant, bookmarks:

that postcard my sister sent me from a far-away country; the entry ticket to the Mauermuseum on Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, with accompanying business card from the Starbucks Coffee House Checkpoint Charlie kept as a souvenirs; a quirky bookmark acting as publicity for a glorious Pizzeria visited on our holidays to Italy where the dough crisps up to perfection in wood-fired ovens. This particular bookmark comes complete with motivational quote to pull you through the dark days of winter: “Good wood does not grow easily: the stronger the wind, the more resilient the tree”; a clever magnetic clip that sticks to real pages with a quote (in German) from Virginia Woolf and her delicate profile in sepia tones; a cardboard label from a cool clothing brand in Italy (who needs Superdry when you can buy – preferably on a sale – Napapijri?); a business card from an Agriturismo in the Italian Eastern Dolomites, offering guests a holiday to remember with the clean conscience of eco-tourism.
The list goes on to include bookmarks created as ordinary bookmarks, and elevated to extra-ordinary status by collecting them in extra-ordinary locations: a free City Lights Bookstore bookmark celebrating the 60th anniversary of the bookstore on Columbus Avenue, San Francisco; a bookmark with a photo of Schloss Neuschwanstein, Germany, bought from the castle’s souvenir shop (remember the Disney princesses castles? Well, here is your original!); a bookmark celebrating the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2014, again with motivational quote from Kate Mosse, novelist and Chair of the prize. I could go on: an owl carved out of fleece hooked on a branch, received as a present; a delicate bamboo Japanese print bought at a Japanese exhibition in England.
And as I touch the cold screen of my e-reader to instruct it to shut down, I am safe in the knowledge that when firing it up again the next day, it will present to me the exact page I said goodnight to, no questions asked, no further instructions needed. A clinically perfect execution of my wishes. An equally perfect execution of my lovingly collected souvenirs, with more memories, inspiring quotes and bundles of sentimental reminiscence than one thousand Gigabytes could ever hold.
Blasted progress!!!

Yours always,



About ofglassandbooks

Who, me? A fan of good reads and glass jars experiences; budding fiction writer in the very little and spare time available...
This entry was posted in bookmarks, books, motivate, reading, reviews, women in fiction and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Ode to Bookmarks: the new endengered species?

  1. FictionFan says:

    Haha! Yes, I sympathise with this – my bookmarks, and the memories they hold, all sit forlornly on the bookshelves now looking sad and neglected…perhaps I should turn them into a collage and hang it on the wall…

  2. I have yet to purchase an e-reader, but it’s not because I’m afraid that bookmarks will become obsolete. No, it’s because I still enjoy reading a real book. Please feel free to send me your bookmarks if you like. I’ll take good care of the City Lights one, especially. That’s one of my favorite stores. 😀

    • Hi Jilanne, nice seeing you again! City lights bookstore: you mean you are a regular customer???? For real??? How lucky is that?? Wow!

      • Yes, City Lights and Green Apple are two of the larger independents I frequent in San Francisco. I’ll never forget taking my son to City Lights one evening, walking him up the stairs to the poetry room. There’s a sign above the stairway that reads something like “welcome poets” or some such thing. My son, age 6 at the time, said “And I can go up here because I’m a poet.” Yes! That room inspires me. Anyway, I do indeed love that store.

  3. J.R.Barker says:

    My kindle is in my laptop, so I try to make sure I have a paper book on the go too. Although I used to read many many books at once so they have dwindled and I seem to have misplaced my fav egyptian bookmark. :/
    Maybe if you get a kindle case you could put a bookmark in there for nostalgia’s sake 🙂

    • I have a few books on the go myself. Isn’t it brilliant to discover a misplaced bookmark after months when picking up a book…or in my case when finally putting it back on the shelves!
      All the best, og&bs

  4. M T McGuire says:

    I share both your love of bookmarks and your eclectic use of tickets, cash receipts etc to mark my place. Lovely post.



  5. Jilanne, that’s a lovely story. My little one was 6 too when we took her to City Lights. We had to fly over 10 hours to get there, but that’s just being pedantic. She got hold of the Octaline series when browsing through the lowest shelves in the store. A cherished book indeed!

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