By Georg Hartong
There is apparently a widespread bad habit of marking the place where the reading of a book has stopped, by making a fold in the top corner of a page: making dog-ears. In other languages the same phenomenon has a different name: in Dutch: 'ezelsoor', in German: 'Eselsohr' and in Danish: 'Aeselorer', all meaning 'donkey's ear'. In South-Africa, in the Boeren-language (familiar to Dutch), they name it 'varkore', pig's ear.
How is this called in French, Spanish, Italian and other languages? Does anybody know?
The first scan shows three German bookmarks.
The second scan a Danish and two Dutch bookmarks; on 'operatie ezelsoor': 'a book is not made of steel' and 'a book is not made of stone'; Bladwijzer means Bookmark; the remaining text: 'donkey's ears are ears that do not belong in books; even closed you keep seeing the book; donkey's ears spoil the beauty of a book; can you promise never to make donkey's ears again, Hi-a?
The third scan shows an English bookmark, a South-African one and a shaped one.
As you can see from the listing on our Events page, there are many book fairs all over the world. They provide an opportunity for readers, writers, publishers and related organizations to be immersed in books, ephemera, and even art and music. And, of course, they are great places to find free bookmarks. Here are two reports on recent book fairs in Vilnius, Lithuania and Oakland, California, USA.
It's like a cultural event where you can meet friends or people you know and meet once in a year.
As you can see, where you can buy fiction books, there are many people. Sometimes books are cheaper at the book fair, but sometimes it's just 2 euros or less. Also you can ask for writers’ autographs. Science fiction books are not so interesting, but also sometimes there are many people.
Also you can get bookmarks. This year I found about 100 new bookmarks.
In the music hall there are so many young people, who want to have photos with their idols. My idol is Andrius Mamontovas. He is one of the best musicians and has been singing more than 30 years. He is really famous in Lithuania.
8 kambarys is a group who sing rap/hip-hop. They are very nice people.
the Ephemera Society of America had a special display by a collector of Native American themed advertising ephemera. It’s possible there are some bookmarks in this detailed display. [warning: some people may find these depictions offensive, but they are artifacts of their time]
Of course, there were free bookmarks to acquire such as these from book dealers.
A curated exhibit of first edition books by L. Frank Baum and the subsequent authors of the "Wizard of Oz" series, courtesy of Joel Harris, a local member of the International Wizard of Oz Club, was complemented by a lecture from a librarian from the University of California, Berkeley, Peter Hanff. He talked about the publication of the Wizard of Oz books by L. Frank Baum, based on his extensive collection of books and printing ephemera. He also gave attendees a special keepsake postcard—but it could be used as a bookmark too!
Even if you are not a collector of rare or antiquarian books, it can be worthwhile to attend this type of book fair to see the history of books and variety of interests among dealers and collectors.
Check our Events page section on book fairs to locate one near you. Many are held on a regular basis. And let us know if there are others we should add to the list.
Have you ever seen a bookmark described as a page turner? Or a paper knife? Or a letter opener? This article on The Mystery of the Phantom Page Turner solves the mystery of whether there even is such a thing as a page turner and what distinguishes these other related objects.
"Every so often, a journalist discovers that people use very odd things for bookmarks and librarians and booksellers find them. Here's the latest one.
"What is the cheesiest book you’ve ever read? For Washington DC librarian Anna Holmes, it wasn’t so much the book, as the slice of Kraft American that she found inside it, clearly used by a cheese-loving patron as a bookmark. "
A recent reminder of a trip to Paris a few years ago led me to review photographs of bookmarks found in art works in the Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge. While I knew that paintings of this period often showed books with several styles of medieval bookmarks, I was surprised to notice the first one and then began to look for more. Now, anytime I see a book in a work of art, I look closely to see if there is an accompanying bookmark. We have other examples in our Gallery pages. Share with us any examples you have found.
We learned about an exciting bookmark contest offering book prizes from Edoardo Bona who says:" I am the manager of a small library in a small Italian village. For 10 years we have organized a bookmarks contest that is having more and more success (2500 bookmarks in 2017) . We have had participants from many foreign countries too (USA, Madagascar, France, Germany, Turkey, Philippines). For this reason I am sending e-mail to collectors, libraries and Institutions that organize or have organized competitions bookmarks hoping that they can help us to share the contest." Check here for the contest rules in English. The web site has a wonderful quote: "It may surprise you that a library would promote reading through an unusual means such as a bookmark rather than through lectures, readings and book presentations. Yet the bookmark is a wonderful symbol of the joy of reading: it is the travel ticket that accompanies you through the pages of a book; it is the proof of your pleasure to hold in your hand a book, to browse it, to read it, to feel it your own."
by Keti Gabaitze
Keti is a 15 year old student and nascent artist from Georgia who loves to draw as a hobby and also likes to read books a lot. Recently, as she had to create a project at school she came up with the idea to connect her hobby with her reading passion and to produce illustrated bookmarks matching popular books. Let's hear what Keti has to tell about her project and it's outgrowths after she has finished it.
Mark the Book
What do you think about bookmarks? Personally for me and for the readers generally, bookmarks are important accessories. They are interesting, functional and beautiful. My hobbies are drawing and designing, therefore, I decided to make a project about bookmarks called “Mark the Book”. The aim of the project was to create bookmarks from different popular books among my generation such as: Hunger Games, Harry Potter, The Great Gatsby, The Devil Wears Prada, The Mortal Instruments, Sherlock Holmes, The Little Prince, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Pride and Prejudice. The bookmarks were created with my own illustrations and on the back side they had quotes from these specific books.
After I had the bookmarks ready, it was time to show it to society and prove that even nowadays bookmarks can be fun, interesting, beautiful and trendy. At that stage, I came across the website of International Friends of Bookmarks (IFOB) and saw that some artists and several people had submitted free downloadable bookmarks to promote the very first World Bookmark Day (Woboda). It was easy for me to contribute some bookmarks for this event, I just had to replace the title of the book on the bottom of my bookmarks with the wording and date of Woboda.
Bookmarks I have submitted to IFOB for the promotion of the World Bookmark Day
Later, I decided to distribute some of my new bookmarks in the local city library, mostly to teenagers and younger generation people, because the books I created bookmarks about are popular among them. I also left some copies in a local bookshop, so people could buy them and I sold them at school as well. I got positive feedback, people liked bookmarks and they were sold really fast. With collected money at school, I bought some books and took part in a project in which the city library was collecting books and delivering them to small libraries within the country.
In conclusion, with this project I didn’t just create the bookmarks but I also took part in popularizing them among society, I showed them the importance and the role of bookmarks and that they have to pay attention to bookmarks, and I also helped society and delivered some books to the library.
We from International Friends of Bookmarks (IFOB) wish to congratulate Keti for her wonderful project and to thank Keti for her contribution to our project World Bookmark Day. Keti's project shows how bookmarks can be a employed in a creative way to spark enthusiasm and can be messengers of messages over the borders of countries.
19 March 2017 Asim Maner, webmaster
by Ana Matos
Hi, I’m Ana from Portugal and currently producing custom and handmade bookmarks under the name CraftsforYou.
Before talking about the work that I do and the types of bookmarks that I create, I want to share a little bit about my experience with books. Last Christmas I had a flashback about those times when buying a book was rare and receiving one was amazing. I had a lot of books in my school backpack but few, for leisure times, on my shelf. Back then having a book was so precious that I used to read the same book more than once during summer vacations. Later, in university, I had a lot of technical books to study asap and still no money (as a typical broke student) to buy and add books to my library, or should I say shelf. Fortunately, between friends, we would trade books which was a good solution and a way of increasing the sense of responsibility for shared things. I treated the books with care and tried to read them fast to give them back. But with my own (few) books I didn’t use such exemplary treatment. I used to underline the text and bend the corners of the pages – no bookmarks in my vocabulary! I feel so ashamed! Last week I was picking some books to give away for charity and again revisited my horrible crimes. Underlining was a bad habit I got from school, to facilitate studying and concentration.
Things are different now. I have books all around me, use bookmarks (paper and my own handmade) and have never bought so many books as before. They are still expensive in Portugal, at least for us, but now there’s more competition and so more good deals. Despite all you can see that books are special to me but the start of creating bookmarks didn’t arise from that - it was not at all premeditated.
In the end of 2015, before Christmas, I decided to reproduce some simple bracelets I saw on Etsy, so I bought materials but encountered so many cute charms that I ended up buying more than needed. The bracelets didn’t attract much attention, although now and then people still order. One day my other half was thinking about a present for a cousin and asked if I could do something with my materials. The person in question liked books, so why not a bookmark? Later I searched on Google to see if there was something that seemed like our ideas and there it was: bookmarks in cord, leather, etc.. So I made one and a few days later selected charms, and other stuff I had, and made a bunch of bookmarks. I posted on Facebook with friends and they bought as Christmas gifts. I really enjoyed the results and people buying more than one item to give. Like I usually say, money shouldn’t be a reason for not giving a present to someone. That was not the case because they were affordable, and still are (LOL), and above all I was spreading my handmade items, and so my dedication/energy. That is a lovely feeling, believe me. Am I forgiven for my crimes now that I do cosy bookmarks?
After Christmas time I started to have requests to make custom bookmarks. A client showed me book covers and asked me to do specific pieces. So that’s how it all continued.
In the last year I have been producing three types of bookmarks: custom with faux suede cord, zen and cork bookmarks. Along with these materials I use charms, pendants, stones and crystals, things I pick from mother nature, and sometimes things customers send me to re-use or because it has a special value to them.
Custom bookmarks usually are made in faux suede cord so it can match the colours of the book cover.
Zen bookmarks are the ones where I incorporate crystals, stones and charms related to zen, spiritual and healing vibes. For this type of book marker there’s also a partnership with an online store that sells stones and crystals – Prenda Natural. They choose these last parts and the rest is pretty much up to me. We have created a unique style and for now they are selling these pieces exclusively.
The last type I'm assembling are the bookmarks made in cork. Portugal is a leading country in exporting cork, so how come I did not have this idea before? These [bookmarks] don’t need to match the book cover colours. People just have to choose the combination of charms they prefer or ask for a specific one. I hope cork bookmarks one day become a vintage item, like some old and exclusive bookmarks IFOB members have been sharing.
There’s a world out there of people like me creating bookmarks or even doing for themselves, because there’s no limits when it comes to imagination and materials to use. And who ever likes books likes to accessorize them to enrich the entire experience of reading. Because picking a book, contemplating the cover, smelling the paper and diving in the story is a sensory experience I don’t intend to switch entirely to ebooks. Besides, how could I use my bookmarks in this case?!
Bookmarkly yours ;)
My website: http://crafts-for-you.site123.me
Our new member Gaby Dondlinger from Luxembourg is not only an avid bookmark collector, but she is also the inventor of a new type of bookmark exhibition, the so called "coffee table exhibition". She has sent us some pictures to let us see her idea of displaying her most precious bookmarks which were given her as gifts by friends and family or she brought home from foreign countries. "I keep them under the glass of my coffee table, so I can look at them every day," as she puts it.
I must say I was totally surprised by her pictures because I had never seen such a storage and display method yet though some of the collector colleagues has written various articles about how to store and display bookmarks. It will be interesting to know about the history of this table later.
"Since I was young I have been attracted by bookmarks, not as an expert collector, but rather as a random buyer and keeper of bookmarks," says Gaby about her collecting passion. "I like bookmarks from different countries which show the speciality or the character of a country, be it by the material, the symbols, or the way it is made."
Bookmarks from different countries on display in the coffee table exhibition of Gaby: Folded paper bookmarks from Japan, and an Edelweiss bookmark from Austria.
Black lace bookmark from Malta, bookmark handwoven and stitched in blue and white from Wisconsin, USA, purple felt bookmark from Lapland.
Other bookmarks from foreign countries, top and below.
by Asim Maner, January 2017