I have 30+ bookmarks. I’ve collected these bookmarks from various places including independent book sellers, this marvelous bookstore/café/tea bar/all around amazingness known as the Oxford Exchange where I live, friends, artists, festivals, etc. I have a special drawer for these bookmarks. Two drawers, actually. You get the point. And yet, when it comes time to put down my newly started book for the night (or day or mid-afternoon), I can’t seem to find one available.
I often wonder where these bookmarks end up. Did they find the wardrobe that leads to Narnia or get lost in Nigeria with Kambili? Are they stuck in someone’s feather headscarf at one of Gatsby’s parties? While all of that sounds like a ton of fun, I often happen upon my stray bookmarks in more mundane locations. For instance, I recently switched purses and found 2 bookmarks in a pocket in the previous purse. A few weeks ago, I was reorganizing my bookshelf and found 4 bookmarks in books that I had already finished reading. So much for that special bookmark drawer.
Sometimes I even lose the bookmark I have already placed in the book I’m reading. I sit down on the couch and remove the bookmark from my book and place it on the cushion next to me or the on the coffee table. While reading, my son comes out to the living room to play Legos on that same coffee table or sit beside me on the couch and turn the television on. I stop reading and search for the bookmark only to find that it has vanished.
At some point I felt rather defeated by my continuous bookmark mishaps, so I opted for another option. I tried those little sticky tabs, but that didn’t work, because I also use sticky tabs to mark important ideas or quotes in books. I tried getting one of those bookmarks that actually hooks onto the pages, but I carry my books in my purse so that type of bookmark would mangle the pages. I tried notecards, but I lost those just as easily as I lose bookmarks. I tried using a pen, but inevitably, ink would somehow always end up on the pages of my book. I tried old movie tickets or wrapped Band-Aids, or cocktail napkins, or paperclips— all to no avail.
I’ve exhausted all the options I can think of. In my current state of readership, I’ve resigned to the fact that bookmarks will get lost regardless of my efforts. So, I will continue to pick up free bookmarks whenever possible, and maybe I’ll search my bookshelf one last time.
Do your bookmarks disappear? How do you cope?
Photo credit: flickr user Barron Fujimoto