Today, I came across this adorable idea for an origami book mark. It promised to prevent the age-old problem of lost bookmarks slipping out of pages, or the emergency need to dog-ear a corner.
But here’s the thing, I don’t use bookmarks. I crease the corners of, write in, and generally molest whatever book I’m reading.
Some readers are anti-crease and adamantly so, but I like my books to be lived in. For me, a book without bent corners is like a living room sofa with plastic slip covers or the fancy china that no one uses.
Crinkled corners do more than remind you where you left off the night before. You follow them to your favorite passages, like a well-worn path through a patch of woods.
Book blemishes leave an impression of those that read the same words as you and welcomed the tale into their hearts and minds.
They let you know what your friends thought of the book you adored and insisted they borrow. Bending the pages softens them in a way, helps release the essence of the book.
Of course I respect the preferences of friends if I’m the one borrowing. But, yes, I do bend library book pages! I never mind checking out a book that has wrinkled pages or fingerprints. Reader residue adds dimension to the experience.
A turned-down corner won’t slip out and get lost under your bed, or fall into a mud puddle as you scramble off the train.
It’s not that I don’t have bookmarks; I have received dozens of them as gifts, and I love them all. When I receive one, I’m reminded that the giver understands how much books matter to me.
My daughter brought me a leather monogrammed bookmark during a high school tour of Italy and a metal one engraved with a thoughtful message at the rehearsal dinner the night before her wedding.
My son brought me a book of Abraham Lincoln quotes and matching bookmark from a middle school field trip to Springfield because he knew I loved books and Honest Abe.
Bookmarks are the ultimate book accessory. I save them, display them, or use them with art books, coffee table books, and collectibles.
But most books are to be consumed, devoured, and remembered. The wrinkled pages and stretched spines of a book tell us that something was well-loved and served a noble purpose, like frayed cuffs on an old pair of jeans or initials carved in a farm table.
Our reading habits, like our book buying habits are personal. We prefer hardcover or e-Readers, ordering from Amazon or visiting independent bookstores. You may be a stickler for pristine pages, or are you a rebel like me?
Origami isn’t my thing, but I made the referenced bookmark in under a minute using a discarded calendar page. I’m pretty sure I won’t use it.