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Wednesday 5: 5 Things I Have Used as Bookmarks

October 5, 2011

Although I hear my elementary school librarian, Mrs. Grogan, gasp in horror at me every time I do it, I have been known to set books face down and open, when I wander off. (Mrs. Grogan, if you’re out there somewhere, I’m sorry!) And I dog-ear pages.

But I’m trying to get better about using bookmarks! One of the things I love most about used books is the oddments and scraps that get left in there. Receipts from grocery trips, bits of mail. One of my favorite finds at the Strand is a volume of Marilyn Hacker’s poetry, bookmarked with a photograph of a couple and their adorable baby. Fragments of a life I can only imagine.

Here are things I’ve used as bookmarks recently, and the books they’re in.

1. A ticket from Dougie MacLean’s concert in Scotland. I saved several tickets from our trip to Edinburgh, for exactly this reason. They’re the perfect size for bookmarks, and they make me smile. It’s currently on my nightstand, waiting for a book to be in.

2. The press release from Nightwoods, by Charles Frazier, is in its own book, because I got it as an ARC, and need to be better about keeping ARCs and their inserts together, so I remember to email the publicist when the review goes live.

3. The press release from Animals Behaving Badly, by Linda Lombardi, is currently in Already Gone, a murder mystery by John Rector. Both because the juxtaposition amuses me, and to remind me to write a longer review of Linda Lombardi’s book.

4. Chopstick wrappers are wonderful bookmarks for the book I read over lunch. Or, for that matter, chopsticks. They’re more useful to klutzy me as bookmarks than eating utensils.

5. When reading in bed, I’ve marked my place with: hair elastics, a sock, and the handle of my hairbrush. None of these work terribly well in the long term, but they’re good for a moment or two.

And I’m pretty sure I used my cat’s tail a few times, when he was with me. This worked best when he was asleep, one understands.

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