I just can’t get into the Kindle. I’ve read a few books on it, and I see the appeal, but for me, nothing beats an old fashioned paperback. And the gold standard of books will always be those big, gorgeous hardcovers.
Reading lots of physical books means I need lots of bookmarks. Fortunately, bookmarks seem to come into my life without much thought. Many authors and stores give out free bookmarks as promotional materials—I have a great one from the Library of Congress in D.C., and another from Raven Used Books in Harvard Square. These serve as souvenirs as well as bookmarks.
Then there are the bookmarks I buy from Barnes and Noble and other bookstores. And when you’re a known reader, you get a lot of bookmarks as gifts.
Not all bookmarks are not created equal. Readers out there, please tell me you’re with me on this.
First, let’s catalogue my bookmark deal breakers:
- Too heavy – Bookmarks should be made of cardboard or paper. I carry my books in my purse everywhere, and those heavy metal bookmarks inevitably fall out and I lose my place. Kind of defeats the purpose.
- Too thick—No bookmark, no matter how pretty, is worth damaging the spine of a book.
- Too long—My bookmarks cannot stick out of either end of the book, unless I want Blinker the Cat to chew the corners to bits and pull them out of my book. It’s possible this is a niche issue.
- Post-It Flags—See above. Cleaning up cat vomit with shredded pink post-it flags in it is a mistake you only make once.
- Anything that clamps/leaves impression on the page—I rarely write in my books, and never dog ear them. I don’t want the bookmark damaging them.
No bookmark is safe in my home.
So what makes a great bookmark? I love the cheap, standard 6 x 2 inch bookmarks you can find just about anywhere. They usually come with a tassel that I remove immediately—for Blinker reasons outlined above. I can’t have her eating the tassels, which are apparently made of catnip.
I prefer a seasonally appropriate picture and an inspirational or cute message. I’ve got beach bookmarks for summer, a gloomy city street bookmark for winter, and lots of bookmarks with cats and books to be used all year round.
I don’t know why so many bookmarks feature cats, but I like books and cats, and apparently a lot of other people do too.
And coffee. Readers, cats, coffee—the essential trio.
Small, simple, light, and with a bit of whimsy.
As far as bookmarks go, nothing else will do.