An Ode to a Bookmark
O, little bookmarkTattered and dear,
How delighted I am
To have found you here.
My memory is fuzzyI’m sure I forgot
Just where I was
In this confounded plot.
It is very short, but sometimes that is very sweet.
I've spent the day thinking about the bookmarks that litter my home - the favourites I use again and again, not because they're special but because they feel right tucked in a book. I use postcards, grocery receipts, strips torn from napkins, promotional material from publishers, and those plastic ones with cheap wool tassels on you can buy from school book fairs. My favourite of these is a Garfield one that says, "Cats are keen, cats are great, cats are clean they lick your plate." And a Peanuts one showing Snoopy on his doghouse. It says, "I love this place". Only I lost that one, as I left it in a book I returned to the library.
This may sound odd, but there is a bookmark that stands out in my memory, and it is the one my dad used from as far back as I can remember. It was stamped leather. I don't remember what I once said, since the letters have faded, but as he only read one book at a time (great serious tomes of history, mostly) he only used the one bookmark, and it had become so smooth, so supple through use and age, but it never lost its earthy leather scent.
I like finding someone else's bookmarks in old books. I imagine something about what they're like based on the bookmark, and wonder what else we might have in common, and if they've maybe read this other book I'm reading... .
I'm not the only one, as this website attests to. Check it out; it's fun, sometimes humorous, sometimes touching reading.