Friday, March 17, 2017

How Do You Mark Your Page?

    I read an article this morning about what people leave in library books. Sometimes those things are really disgusting. It made me think of what I leave in my books.
    How do you mark your page?  The grand girls are fold overs.  They both dog ear, fold over the corner at the top.  I tell them every time I see it that they're making their book cry. They laugh and say, "Grandma, books aren't alive!"  And aghast, I tell them, "Oh, yes they ARE!" And they say, "Grandma, they can't feel it."  And I say, "How do you know?  Can't you just use the bookmarks I give you or grab a piece of paper and give the poor book a break? The benefit of the doubt?  Maybe? Can't you hear it cry?"  But now it's a power play. 
    Usually, whatever I'm doing at the time is what I use as a bookmark and I tend to leave it in the book when finished.  Mostly I use bookmarks.  I never, ever dog ear or turn down the corner. Books cry when you do that.  I try not to break the spine or at least bend it back too much, but sometimes it happens especially in a book I read over and over, like To Kill a Mockingbird.  Once a year with that one.
     I've left photographs,  sometimes money (not more than $1.00, I mean, come on!)  ticket stubs, once, a feather, ribbons, bookmarks that are pretty, and sometimes nothing at all.  In that case I've used something so inconsequential it tells nothing about what I was doing at the time.  I told the kids that they should flip through the pages of my books after I die because there are things in them. The bookmark is never left in the last page.  It's always just tucked in somewhere. 
     I don't use the library much for adult reading because my shelves are full of waiting-to-be-read (top picture is one of three sections full right above my head as we speak. And this doesn't show the bottom shelf.)  The list is long and my time spent on this earth isn't getting longer. And those darned authors just keep writing so I'll probably never catch up.   I do use the library extensively for books I read to the kids at school so no bookmark gets left in those.
     Do I share?  Sometimes, with people I trust to give them back.  If I don't want one back I'll say so at the loaning.  Yes, I do contribute some to daughter's Little Free Library.  I get a lot of books free for review and used to pass them on to kids at school but now pass them on to the grands.  Mostly, my books are old friends,  holders of information,  calm feelings when I look and remember,  some revisited.
     Do I read when I eat?  Yes.  Have I spilled?  Not really, not bad spills, once in awhile a drip but I have left crumbs and every time I do I think of  Geraldine Brooks' book People of the Book. Every time.  I read anywhere I go anytime I can and I take a book everywhere, even to meetings and quilty gatherings.  Never, ever leave the house without one, and just in the teeny, tiny case that I do, there is a book in each car.  Just in case.


  1. Oh, friend, we are so much alike ... and so different! I'm with the girls. While I'm reading, I fold, lay them on their tummies, stuff them with other books--but I don't think they cry--they know it's love. Kind of like a puppy or a toddler who likes to roughhouse every once in a while. Years and years (and years?!) ago, you called those markers "Easter "Eggs" and my kids know I've left them and that they'll never know what memory they'll find (heh, heh, heh!). Yes: tickets, cards, price tags (!), photos, and even a few real bookmarks!

  2. OH my gosh do I declare That I am not a big reader for pleasure....OOps might not be invited now..eek! When I have free time I am out in the garden, swimming, fishing or sewing. I do read every time we go on holiday though mostly historical romance...oops probably not up there on the reading lists of great authors. I love to read to my grandchildren every day I am with them and I am pretty good at that....I wish I did love to read..