Friday, August 29, 2008

MISC: The Better Book Bookmark

I finally came to the end of reading Dr. Joe & What You Didn't Know, which I originally wrote about here. With that, I put away the Chapters Bookstore bookmark that I had curiously kept with the book during it's four-month service as a bathroom reader.

Actual, real leather or cardboard, bookmarks are an actual rarity in the house. Sure, I have lots of them, including some ornate metal and jewel ones, but I almost never use them. I'm shocked I never replaced the bookmark in the book with my semi-new standard for book bookmarks ... 3M PostIt Notes Flags.

I have been using the small flag type of PostIt's for quite a while now. They're approximately a half inch wide by an inch and a half long. For almost all books, the fit comfortably down a margin and stick up unobtrusively. That is until you want to find your place. Then it's easy to get right to the page, although you have to decide whether to use strictly left or right side bookmarking, or do what I do, which is to do the bi-choice thing, putting on the page where I actually stopped reading. It's a personal preference thing.

Now, the advantages of using this are fairly obvious. The things stick like glue, so no bookmark falling out, thus losing your place. You don't have to hold them while reading the page you stopped on or play tilt-a-mark with the book, trying to read under a bookmark you've left in place. You don't have to remember to return the bookmark after finishing reading the new starting page, because it's still there. You can leave the bookmark slapped on the inside of the back cover when you are finished, ready for the next person to read the book to have a built-in bookmark. You can even write on the bookmarks, possibly noting date of reading, for example.

The cons? Well, in old paperbacks, the margin's are slimmer than you would like. Putting a flag over the old printing will lift minute amounts of the ink. Sometimes, it will transfer those minute amounts on the next page. Generally, you WILL be able to find a spot to stick the sticky part of the flag without impacting the old printing. Won't look neat, but it retains all the other advantages.

One last advantage. I'm old, getting older and I've read (and kept) LOTS of books. Sometimes, as with my search for a book by Henry Kuttner, I WANT to re-read a book. Other times, I will pick up a book and start reading and won't get to a familar part until a couple of chapters in. That's where LEAVING the bookmark in the back of the book comes in handy. I usually don't start reading until I check that I haven't read the book ALREADY. Saves time. Trust me.

That's why I went upstairs, grabbed a flag and placed on the back cover of Dr. Joe Schwarcz's book. When you have three or four of his tomes, as I do, it's helpful to know WHICH ones you have still to enjoy.

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