Monday, August 17, 2015

How Do You Mark Your Place in a Book?

Book Care: Marking Your Place Without Spoiling Your Book

I don't revere books, but I do respect and enjoy them and I take care to preserve mine. So when I read books I do as little as possible that might despoil them.

When I read a book, I use a paper bookmark - either an actual bookmark from a bookstore or a thin piece of clean paper. Note that if the paper isn't clean, whatever is on the paper can soak into the paper, despoiling it. And if any non-standard bookmark is too thick, it can warp or bend the paper. Metal bookmarks may look fun, but clips will deform the paper. (See my Gift Ideas on the sidebar for bookmark ideas.)

Someone once brought me a gift from Hawaii, a miniature surfboard that is meant to be a bookmark. It was made of wood and it was stained. But it hadn't been varnished and the wood smelled of the stain. The bookmark also wasn't flat, so while it was a thoughtful gift I couldn't use it because it wasn't flat enough and the residual smell of the stain would have transferred to the papers.

I definitely don't use paper clips, which will deform the paper, and as you work your way through the book it will leave an ugly mess out of the pages. I never bend the corners, a technique which has a similar effect.

To remember where on the page I left off, I position the bookmark over the paragraph where I will begin reading again. That means the bookmark may dangle out of the top of the book, the side, or the bottom. Most bookmarks have printing on them, and I pick a side that represents the side of the book where I left off. It's very easy picking up where I left off reading that way.

And the way I treat a book is the same whether it's my book or one I've borrowed from a friend, or a book from the library. The better we all treat books the longer they will last for everyone. A Facebook friend built a small box outside her home that serves as a lending library into which she places her own books, a great way to share her love of books with her neighbors or anyone else who passes by her home.

(Photo: Roberta King.)

(c) 2015. Alan Eggleston. All Rights Reserved.

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