Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mark my words

I have to confess that my father was a dog-earer of books.
As a child I learned this disgusting habit from him, folding down a corner of a page to mark my progress through a book. I wonder if this is because the majority of books I had at my disposal were library books, which were already dog-eared and stained and smelling of other people's lives. I'm not sure when I stopped this practice, but it could have been when I started getting my own collection of books to keep. Now I can't dog-ear a book at all, and don't know if I could even if my life depended on it (okay, maybe if my life depended on it...).
Which leads me to the question of, how do you mark your spot in a book?
I love bookmarks, but they seem to disappear into the land of the other sock that goes missing in the wash. I'm sure the bookmarks and single socks are having a rip-roaring time in some other dimension, but I'd rather they stay where they are supposed to — in this one.
Meanwhile... I use anything to mark my page.
My recent bookmarks have included:
hair ties
sticky notes
cinema tickets
ripped off pieces from The Age newspaper
a birthday card
a bobby pin
a receipt.
I am currently using a bandaid — not a used bandaid, of course, but an intact bandaid that I had fished out of my bag when I needed a bookmark. And when you think of it, a bandaid is a good choice for a bookmark. Consider paper cuts. You don't often get a paper cut from reading a book, but if you did you would have a remedy at hand.
Which makes me think that bookmarking an e-reader must be not nearly as exciting as bookmarking a real book.


Amu said...

I'll just remember the page number. I'm not using my brain for much else these days. I can remember a page number.

Shirley Marr said...

I love this post KT! I'm like you, I just use whatever is available - today alone I have used to mark the same book:
- a post it note
- a receipt
and (almost the same size as the book itself)
- a Pandora catalogue

and as much as I can't stand pages being dogeared I also hate it when ppl bend the spine as well arghhh

karen tayleur said...

Amu, sometimes I can remember the page number. It depends on what the number is. Anything that can correspond with my life, like my house number, my birthdate etc I can remember. Or rounded off numbers, like 230. I am just not a numbers person really...

karen tayleur said...

Hi Shirley, I know, it's always sad when you have a book returned in less than mint condition, even though I try telling myself it's the words that count, not how the book looks...

Sian said...

I love this blog too - especially the phrase "smelling of other people's lives...' I remember reading a library book which smelt of oranges. I had to go and get one too, and contributed to the effect by accidentally splashing juice over the book, staining the pages.
I now have an ereader, which is fantastic on the run - not the same, but better than no book at all!

Shirley Marr said...

I always lend out my books, KT, in a sandwich bag with a bookmark inside, with instructions that the book must remain in the bag while not being read or during transit.

on another note re: your post, I've never papercut myself on a novel (I don't think) but printed manuscripts are deadly. So to anyone out there whose MS I have read, you owe me a Hello Kitty bandaid :)

Shirley Marr said...

ps - I like your story Sian :)

karen tayleur said...

Sian I think e-readers have their place

karen tayleur said...

Shirley, do your friends abide by your very strict borrowing guidelines? Also, I would like you to meet my second-longest-standing friend (she would kill me if I said oldest!), Sian from high school with whom I have shared many a sleep over and late night visit to the kitchen.