Bookmarks are not something I normally think about. I find myself in the group of people who will use any spare piece of paper lying about to mark my place in a book and leave it at that. Sure, I’ve collected dozens of fancy, laminated bookmarks from Barnes&Noble over the years, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually used one.

I was (hilariously) confronted with the many different ways in which people mark their books when a friend sent this image to our groupchat:

Admittedly, these are not all serious methods of bookmarking (see: Chaotic Evil.) But it did give me pause to consider the various ways in which we save our place in a book.

The Classic Bookmark

A true hero of bookmarking is, of course, the classic bookmark. In my mind, the classic bookmark is a paper/laminated paper bookmark, sometimes from a library or from Barnes&Noble.

These bookmarks are the mark (haha) of a devoted reader. Perhaps the bookmark was given to them as a gift or they picked it up during their last trip to the library. Either way, it is a dedicated way of keeping place in a book without going above and beyond any additional effort.

The Upscale Bookmark

Metal. Bookmarks.

Honestly, who even thought of these? They’re often thick and bulky and they leave a bulge (or bump) in the book. Not to mention they’re heavier than almost every other type of bookmark—unless your prone to leaving a rock in your book.

The metal bookmark is the hoity-toity bookmark. Yes, I said it! Metal bookmarks are unnecessary!

The Everyday Bookmark

It could be a receipt, it could be a punch card, or even and old subway ticket. Your everyday everyman bookmark is any piece of paper that you happen to have lying around. It typically takes the form of paper in everyday use, like ticket stubs or receipts.

These are the working horse of bookmarks. They tend to be the beat-up and frequently-changed bookmarks of heavy-duty readers.

This is the class of bookmark that I frequently find myself in. I’m currently using a piece of cardstock (the kind used to keep birthday cards rigid and unbent) from after I bought a card for a friend. These bookmarks, however, often have a very short shelf-life.

The Craftsman’s Bookmark

This is the class of bookmark that strays from the paper-based: ribbon, string, cord—anything similar enough and slim enough to fit in the pages of a book. Like the everyday bookmark, the craftsman is acquired in one way or another; you don’t really plan on using it as a bookmark until you desperately need a placeholder and you grab the closest item.

Also the mark of a fancy book—some books have a ribbon sewn into the binding to be used as a convenient placeholder whenever you need.


Which bookmark to you prefer? Leave a comment!

Are you more of a non-traditional bookmark-er? Check back for part two!

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