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
by Matt Gilbert (reposted from richlyevocative.net)
During a recent spot of tidying at home, I came across a box containing my childhood collection of bookmarks.
When I was growing up my parents were second-hand booksellers in Bristol. One exciting perk, or by-product of this for me as a kid, was finding all kinds of bookmarks that previous readers had left behind in many of the books Mum and Dad bought, which I was allowed to keep. Very occasionally you’d also find paper money hidden within the pages of books too, but this I wasn’t allowed to keep.
Sifting through some of the bookmarks, it was interesting to note a few themes or threads.
Judging by the numbers produced (many more than shown here) Insurance companies appear to have been big on bookmarks.
The likes of Scottish Widows, Royal Exchange and Northern Assurance once appeared to commission a lot of commercial artists to illustrate their own branded bookmarks. I suppose it makes sense for an industry that spends much of its time reminding people to renew or change policies to print these reminders on objects devoted to the very purpose of remembering.
I particularly like the Northern Assurance series of city and townscape panoramas – including London and Aldeburgh in Suffolk.
Animals and scenes and subjects from nature also feature on many of the bookmarks – I seem to have had a thing for birds – the box contained quite a few bookmarks with illustrations of real birds along with various others – including Puffin of course – used to promote books and reading.
Some of the most interesting and funny bookmarks I’d collected are old public service messages and adverts, with their now almost comically stilted sounding phrasing and matter of fact declarations of quality, or finger wagging warnings and informative notices.
Amongst the ads, pens, cigars and cigarettes figure prominently – I’d guess that this is because their shape is perfect for reproduction on a bookmark.
My favourite is a bookmark extolling the virtues of bus travel: TAKE IT EASY. TAKE A BUS. Clearly produced in an age before Mrs. Thatcher made her infamous (albeit possibly apocryphal) declaration that: “A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure.” – although the illustration on the bus bookmark shows a rather self-satisfied looking woman, (looking not unlike Margaret Thatcher funnily enough), who’s delighted to have nabbed herself one of the cool seats upstairs at the back.
There are also a few here with an esoteric theme – this was my Dad’s specialist area so there are some bookmarks featuring the likes of Madame Blavatsky, promoting Occult bookshops or histories of The Rosicrucians.
Naturally many bookmarks feature writers and poets, alongside the bookshops that sold their work. I was sad to note that all of the Bristol based ones I found now no longer exist. I can remember what an incredible, eye-widening treasure house George’s Children’s department used to be. This is described on their bookmark as having “the largest stock of books in the West for children of all ages”. Take that Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and South Wales.
I hope you enjoy taking a look at some of these as much as I once enjoyed collecting them.
by Melia Miller
Unlike regular bookmarks, book weights (also called weighted bookmarks) keep your place while you are reading. They are particularly helpful when you are consulting a book but need your hands free. For instance, book weights are used by knitters and crocheters to keep pattern books open while creating, by students to hold textbooks open while doing homework, by professors to keep reference materials accessible when they prepare a lecture or an article, and by casual readers who like to enjoy a book while having a bite to eat. Book weights can also be used by people who find that holding a book open is physically difficult.
There are several types of book weights available on the market. The conventional mass-produced book weight is leather with some type of metal weights in the interior. There are also rubber and metal book weights in various solid colors. Handmade book weights typically consist of a sewn tube of fabric, which is then filled with sand, beans, rice, or some other loose material.
Other book weights made by me..
Having been a literature major in a former life, I know the awkwardness of trying to keep multiple books open at once, even resorting to layering them to hold pages open. I needed book weights, ones that were slim and portable but also ethical and functional without clinging to the pages, which could result in tearing. After a few years of researching, calculating, testing, and even a batch of book weights weighted with glass tiles; I finally came up with my current design, which consists of two pieces of steel encased in two layers of fabric. As far as I know, I’m the only one who makes book weights out of solid metal weights and fabric. The beauty of fabric is that, with so many options, it can reflect the personality of the reader. I love textiles and books, so it’s a joy to work with so many wonderful fabrics and to pair them up with an assortment of books for photos.
I run a business with the title Dragon in Knots (dragoninknots.com), which is a one human, one hamster micro business based in New Mexico (southwestern United States). Everything we sell is made by me (I've tried putting the hamster to work, but it's hard to crochet without opposable thumbs). We (and by we, I mean me - the hamster wasn't born yet) have been in business for over 10 years. Our product range includes citrus coasters, market bags, scarves, gloves (both fingered and fingerless), wrist cuffs, and fabric & steel book weights. If you wish to learn more about the inspiration behind Dragon in Knots, you can read my article Textiles Tell Tales. Book lovers among you may wish to have a look at my blog to read book reviews and poetry in translation.
The IFOB First Year Commemorative Bookmark 2016 will be printed by and by and only to the extend of orders from our gift shop. Each bookmark carries an individual number in the order of the production and the date of printing. The bookmarks are produced by fine art print on premium textured card and are of exquisite quality (size: 205 x 80 mm).
The aim of this procedure is to create a rare and highly collectible bookmark for our members and for other collectors. This years bookmark represents the first in a series of bookmarks. Each year a new bookmark with a new design created by a new illustrator will be produced. The bookmark for 2016 has been illustrated by Asim Maner.
I hope you like the idea and many bookmark friends will consider to collect these bookmarks. The revenue from the sale of the bookmarks are thought to cover IFOB's expenses like all other items in our gift shop. The image of the bookmark below is not bad, however, it gives only an approximate impression of the real bookmark, which I think is more beautiful in reality as on the picture. As per today, 14 bookmarks have been printed. At the end of the year we'll know how many bookmarks there will be in total. A truly exciting affair for the collectors.
- Asim Maner