I recently found this fascinating book in a local op shop (charity shop) for the grand price of $2 and immediately snapped it up as I love anything to do with printed collectibles / paper ephemera. I was especially interested in it because it contains seven pages on bookmarks which I am delighted to share with you here via my blog.
It is interesting to see which bookmarks they have featured and what Lyle thought they were worth in 1984, the year in which the book was published in Scotland.
Unfortunately, all the images are black & white. It would have been great to see the bookmarks in colour. Nevertheless, still interesting!
Click on each image to enlarge.
Wow, these solid silver artisan bookmarks are stunning! Check out the Silverleaf website to view all available bookmarks and to find out how and where they are made. Expensive but gorgeous! Even the way they are packaged is classy.
Here are four of my favourite Silverleaf bookmarks:
"It’s pretty clear that if you are here reading this, you’re a fan of books. Now that we have that out of the way, we can also safely assume that you have used a bookmark at least once in your life. But what we don’t know is what you use for a bookmark. So we decided to make up some personality traits about you, based on what you use."... Click here to read the full article, including contributions from readers on what they use as bookmarks. Such fun!
...is an interesting article on bookmarks and bookmark collecting by Kerrie More, published in Issue 29 of UPPERCASE Magazine (Canada).
A few weeks ago I received an email from Robyn Williams, a woman living in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She had found my website, and therefore me, through the International Friends of Bookmarks (IFOB) website and contacted me to ask if I would like to have her mother's bookmark collection. Yes please! Robyn explained that she, on behalf of her mother, wanted to find a good home for the bookmarks with someone who would like them.
I am so very grateful and indeed honoured to receive these bookmarks and have them in my collection. It has been a joy to receive them and fossick through them.
I asked Robyn if she could tell me a bit more background about her mother's bookmark collection and her bookmark collecting. She replied:
I had a bit of a chat to my sister regarding what she remembers of mum’s bookmark collection. Apparently mum began by asking people (family and friends) to bring her home a bookmark from their travels. I think she also exchanged some bookmarks with others. She spent a lot of time on her own in her mid-life as her 3 children were interstate and/or travelling and my dad also travelled frequently for work. Mum also had a number of overseas penfriends who she wrote to for quite a long period of time until her health and memory deteriorated. As she moved states within Australia several times (due to dad’s work), she often found it hard to make friends, and writing to penfriends and collecting bookmarks was a way of having contact with others. She was also a great ‘journaller’ and compiled a year long diary for each of her 8 grandchildren for the year of their birth, with daily news, newspaper clippings, current prices of everyday things, politics and funny snippets.
What a lovely story, including about the journals Robyn's mother compiled for her grandchildren. Delightful and so touching.
I did not actually count the bookmarks but there are about 200, perhaps more. There are vintage and more recent bookmarks across several categories: bookshops, libraries, museums, publishers, organisations, products, etc. There are card, plastic, leather, cloth, metal and even a pottery bookmark. The majority are commercial bookmarks but some are handmade, handcrafted. I will feature some of my favourites on this blog in the coming months. With Robyn's permission, I am offering the duplicates up through my duplicate bookmarks website and will also donate some duplicates to the IFOB bookmark raffle in February 2019.
SOURCE: IFOB WOBODA Raffle Prize
In February 2018 I was the lucky second place winner of the Bookmark Raffle, conducted by the International Friends of Bookmarks (IFOB) for World Bookmark Day (WOBODA). I received many wonderful bookmarks, including these beautiful handmade bookmarks from the first place winner, Regina Mačiulytė of Vilnius, Lithuania. Thank you Regina!
I wanted to know more about these bookmarks and who made them so I contacted Regina. She told me it was a work colleague of her mother's (also called Regina), who had lovingly created these delightful bookmarks (and lots more of them). In her working life, the lady was a "kid's doctor" (Paediatrician) and Regina's mother an Allergist.
The lady was very sick with cancer at the time she made the bookmarks and expressed that while making them she didn't think or worry about her cancer at all. Her creativity enriched her and kept her mind off her illness. She made the bookmarks to gift to family members, friends and other people and this gave her much pleasure.
The bookmarks are made from colourful paper from various sources, hand cut with scissors into diverse patterns and glued on cardboard, some of it recycled cartons.
Regina and her mother have been receiving bookmarks from this lady for more then 14 years. Regina has around 80 many bookmarks from her, the earliest one having been made in 2004. Regina attributes her becoming a bookmark collector to this lady.
Regina has informed me that the creator of these bookmarks is still alive and is an active pensioner, including continuing to make and gift bookmarks. Long may it be so.
I feel blessed and honoured to have these very special and unique bookmarks in my collection.
For several years now, I have been swapping bookmarks with collectors from all over the world. I enjoy doing this for several reasons:
. It is a great way to grow one's bookmark collection
. It feels really nice helping someone else grow their bookmark collection
. It expands one's collection beyond the parochial, local, and national
. It engenders the growth of international bookmark collecting
. It engenders connections, community and friendships
Today, I received my lastest bookmark swaps in the mail from Portugal. Thank you Sara Cardoso! The bookmarks include several older Book Depository bookmarks I did not have in my collection and have been seeking for quite some time, along with some other bookmarks which I chose from Sara's offerings.
Portugal is a country I have always wanted to visit but I have not yet made it there. Somehow, this bookmark swap makes me feel a little closer to Portugal, especially since Sara so kindly added a Portuguese postcard in her mail to me. A postcard made from real Portuguese cork! A treasure!
Today, I added a very special bookmark to my collection after finding it in a library book I had borrowed. It is from a series of five bookmarks from "The Refugee Bookmark Project" (launched in August 2017), a collaboration between the Community Migrant Resource Centre (CRMC) in partnership with the City of Parramatta Library in Sydney, Australia and supported by the State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW).
The overall aim of the project, which showcases the pieces of 5 refugee artists on bookmarks that were available across 7 different library sites, including the NSW state library, was to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and the positive contributions they've made to Australian society.
A wonderful project indeed. Congratulations and well done to all involved. You can read more about the project and each of the bookmarks by clicking the CMRC and SLNSW links above.
I now aim to find the other 4 bookmarks in the series and add them to my collection.
I recently attended Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters, an amazing exhibition at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, on show from 15 September 2017 to 28 February 2018. Songlines took visitors on a journey across the Australian desert in an Aboriginal-led exhibition about the epic Seven Sisters Dreaming. The exhibition included stunning artworks, a state-of-the-art digital dome and a vibrant art centre. My family and friends had glowingly raved about this exhibition and it most certainly did not disappoint!!! I spent many hours in the exhibition, soaking up all the indigenous art, stories, culture and spirituality. Truly glorious!
In addition to the exhibition catalogue, (which had sold out, so I have it on back order), I purchased these beautiful bookmarks as a memento of the exhibition and of course, to add to my ever growing bookmark collection.
NOTE: The description underneath each bookmark is the actual back of the bookmark. Click on each description for a larger readable image.
SOURCE: Finds, donations, exchanges
I have several Reader's Digest bookmarks in my collection and I particularly love the "Select Editions" ones. These bookmarks were released by Reader's Digest to celebrate the 60th Anniversary, in 2010, of their Reader's Digest Condensed Books (the former name of "Select Editions"), first published in 1950.
The art on the front of each bookmark comes from the cover of that original volume. The information on the back of each bookmark includes a quote from one of the books featured in that volume.
Thus far I have six of these bookmarks. I am not yet sure how many were produced.
A selection of the beautiful covers of Reader's Digest Condensed Books
What a great bookmark! I love the way it graphically details the publishing history and success of all the books authored by Jean Auel and also compares and contrasts this with three other well known authors - Stephanie Meyer, Dan Brown and Stig Larsson!
Jean Auel; born February 18, 1936, is an American writer who wrote the Earth's Children books, a series of novels set in prehistoric Europe that explores human activities during this time, and touches on the interactions of Cro-Magnon people with Neanderthals. Her books have sold more than 45 million copies worldwide.
In 1977, Auel began extensive library research of the Ice Age for her first book. She joined a survival class to learn how to construct an ice cave, and learned primitive methods of making fire, tanning leather, and knapping stone from the aboriginal skills expert Jim Riggs.
The Clan of the Cave Bear was nominated for numerous literary awards, including an American Booksellers Association nomination for best first novel. It was also later adapted into a screenplay for the film of the same name.
After the sales success of her first book, Auel was able to travel to the sites of prehistoric ruins and relics, and also to meet many of the experts with whom she had been corresponding. Her research took her across Europe from France to Ukraine, including most of what Marija Gimbutas called Old Europe. In 1986 she attended and co-sponsored a conference on modern human origins at the School of American Research, Santa Fe. She has developed a close friendship with Dr. Jean Clottes of France who was responsible for the exploration of the Cosquer Cave discovered in 1985 and the Chauvet Cave discovered in 1994.
In October 2008, Auel was named an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture and Communication.
By 1990, Auel's first three books in her Earth's Children series sold more than 20 million copies worldwide and had been translated into 18 languages; Crown Publishers paid Auel about $25 million for the rights to publish The Plains of Passage and the two subsequent volumes. By May 2002, on the cusp of the publication of the fifth book, the series had sold 34 million books. The sixth and final book in the series, The Land of Painted Caves, was published in 2011.
Maya Angelou is one of my favourite writers and one of my favourite human beings! So, it is a thrill to have this bookmark in my collection.
Maya Angelou born Marguerite Annie Johnson; April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim.
She became a poet and writer after a series of occupations as a young adult, including fry cook, sex worker, nightclub dancer and performer, cast member of the opera Porgy and Bess, coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and journalist in Egypt and Ghana during the decolonization of Africa. She was an actor, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs. In 1982, she earned the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked with martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X. Beginning in the 1990s, she made around 80 appearances a year on the lecture circuit, something she continued into her eighties. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" (1993) at President Bill Clinton's inauguration, making her the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at President John F. Kennedy's inauguration in 1961.
With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou publicly discussed aspects of her personal life. She was respected as a spokesperson for black people and women, and her works have been considered a defense of black culture. Her works are widely used in schools and universities worldwide although attempts have been made to ban her books from some U. S. libraries. Angelou's most celebrated works have been labelled as autobiographical fiction, but many critics consider them to be autobiographies. She made a deliberate attempt to challenge the common structure of the autobiography by critiquing, changing and expanding the genre. Her books centre on themes such as racism, identity, family and travel.
Some of the wondrous words of Maya Angelou:
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style".
"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude".
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel".
"A wise woman wishes to be no one's enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone's victim".
"You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lines. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I'll rise".
Sometimes bookmarks are not sold as bookmarks!
I was in a shop recently and saw these gorgeous birthdays cards of animals, produced by "Courtier" in England. The cards are in two attached pieces and are designed to stand up when the feet are brought forward.
I straight away saw them as being useful and wonderful bookmarks and that is why I purchased them! The cat and dog (a long haired Dachshund) being my favourites! The feet come forward and sit nicely over the page of a book and serve very well as a bookmark! Here they are in their original state and also popping their heads out from within two rather appropriate books from my collection.. Miaow and woof, woof!
I recently moved house. In the process of packing and unpacking I deeply re-acquainted and immersed myself in my book collection, including finding several bookmarks! One of my favourites among these finds was the book and bookmark of "Tales of Old Todaiji". The bookmark shows the map of the temple complex.
Tōdai-ji is a Buddhist temple complex that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, located in the city of Nara, Japan. Its Great Buddha Hall houses the world's largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana, known in Japanese as Daibutsu.
From the "Postface" of the book...."This little book contains a selection of the most well-known stories that have been handed down through the ages and bring to life the illustrious history of Todaiji. They afford glimpses of the unfamiliar aspects of the history of Todaiji and have circulated more widely than the official histories. It is not going too far to say that in a sense these stories convey truths that are missing form the official histories".
Bookmark from "Tales of Old Todaiji"
I have been rendered utterly speechless by this amazing website, Bookmarks: Infiltrating the Library System, from the University of the West of England, Bristol, which I chanced upon recently! While exploring the website, my mouth has been permanently agape at the wonder and joy of it - the project and its results!
Wow, Wow, Wow!!! There is so much to explore! So many stunning bookmarks! So much talent and creativity! Do yourself a favour and explore this wondrous website and all its bookmarks!
Here is an explanation of the project from the website....
"This annual series grew out of an aim to encourage appreciation and awareness of artists working in the book format. Participating artists each produce an edition of 100 signed and numbered bookmarks which are divided into 100 sets; one full set being sent to each of the contributing artists and the rest divided and sent in distribution boxes to participating host venues around the world, for visitors to enjoy. Over the last fourteen years, the Bookmarks series of free artwork distribution has visited 148 galleries, bookstores, workshops, centres, schools, museums and libraries in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK and USA
544 artists have contributed 54,700 bookmarks to the fourteen projects to date. Each bookmark is stamped with the current project’s website address, which directs the taker of the bookmark to the gallery section of the website. Visitors can view works by the artists and contact contributors via their website and email links on our site".
Here is my favourite story from one of the bookmark artists, together with her poetry bookmark.....
"I knew a woman, once, who collected bookmarks. I remember sitting next to her on a flowered sofa while she showed me her albums, full of them, full of them, years and years of gifts and gathering; leather and gilt ones, beribboned and tasselled, ones with pressed flowers, plain and printed ones. Bookmarks from all over, all around the world. And yet I don't remember her reading, for all the bookmarks.
If I use a bookmark, it is usually a feather or a torn scrap of paper, but I often just close the book, assuming I will find my place (and only occasionally, shamefully, leaving the book face down). But one of my favourite things is to have a library book or a second-hand book, and to come all unsuspecting across other people's bookmarks, the traces they leave of themselves. As though in marking their place in the book, they make their own mark upon the page, upon the story and upon the next reader. Did they buy the items on that shopping list, the bread and the light-bulbs and the birthday card? And the bus ticket, where did they go and did they come back again? Who tenderly pressed these flowers or unwittingly trapped a spider? What remains in a book becomes another layer of meaning, a story within the story. What marks the book and what marks the book: the sweet wrappers and seaside postcards and folded till receipts and fringed slips of leather, the scribblings and spilt drinks and smears of old blood and tears and tears and foxing of paper and folding of corners.
I like the physical presence of bookmarks, their smallness and modesty, and the way they quietly yet definitely make a pause, their gentle insistence. I like the way that they can be both a particular thing, a proper thing to be bought as such, and used, and collected, and at the same time just any old thing that happens to fit the purpose.
And bookmarks also are of that class of things that dwindles now, becoming less than their pleasing slightness as to be no longer so useful, so necessary. Though virtually the concept remains, bookmarks are, as real objects, utterly useless and irrelevant to those who favour kindles or other such reading devices. (So, then, these bookmarks were not made for you. So, then, you can go away, and click a button or whatever other dull method by which you mark your place.)
Bookmarks are real, physical, tangible things made for real, physical, tangible and lovely books. They are things to be held, laid down and taken up, used and made worn, lost and found. Small things, slight and slender things, general and particular; what is carefully chosen, what comes to hand. They drift out from an opened book and flutter to the floor, they stay caught in the gutters, they stain the pages with sap and secrets; they can be kept in albums and looked at together in quiet moments and on grey days, when the wind whispers and whispers." - Elizabeth Willow
A fun article from the Tin House magazine website...
"In Claire Fuller’s Swimming Lessons, Ingrid writes letters to Gil about the truth of their marriage, then hides them in used books from their library. Carefully collected over the years, these books are filled with “left-behind photographs, postcards, and letters; bail slips, receipts, handwritten recipes, and drawings; valentines and tickets, sympathy cards, excuse notes to teachers—bits of paper with which he could piece together other people’s lives, other people who had read the same books he held and who had marked their place.”
Inspired by Swimming Lessons, we went to the experts in unexpected ephemera and well-loved books—librarians—and asked them to tell us the most interesting thing they’d found in a library book. Their answers delighted, disgusted, and exceeded our wildest expectations. It was hard to pick our favorites, but here they are.
A few takeaways: novels pair well with bologna, don’t even try to get a secret code past a librarian, and our books tell more stories than perhaps any of us realize.
What’s the most interesting, memorable, or just plain weird thing you’ve found in a library book?
**Winner** A taco, perfectly preserved and pressed like a flower in the middle of a book. It was so slim you wouldn’t know it was there until you opened the book. —Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System
**Winner** I am a first generation immigrant from Russia. My senior year of college, at least the last semester of it, I had to write a senior thesis. I had gotten permission to write a historical fiction, a creative piece but one that would demonstrate my impressive researching skills. So, I chose to write about Soviet era Russia, primarily the political and religious oppression that existed. I was very familiar with this topic, having arrived in the U.S. as refugees due to the fact that our family was persecuted for our religious beliefs. I scoured the internet for books on the topic; I had to dedicate an entire bookshelf to those books. One little book called “Konshaubi: A True Story of Persecuted Christians in the Soviet Union” by Georgi Vins. Georgi Vins was a big name in our community. He was expelled from Russia, along with a few other dissidents, in 1979 in exchange for 2 Soviet spies. As I flipped through this very humble book, I landed on a page of photos. On one of them, I noticed three familiar faces. My grandfather, grandmother, and uncle’s. My grandfather served four 3-year sentences (total of 12 years) in the Soviet prisons for his involvement in the Baptist church. My uncle served 3 years. My uncle had just died that February. It was so shocking to see his face and the faces of my grandparents. I showed my mom, and she cried when she saw her parents and brother. It was, and still is, the most memorable and interesting find in a book. —Violetta Nikitina, Union County Public Library
**Winner** A letter in a sealed, stamped envelope that had never been sent. I decided to mail it. —Christina Thurairatnam, Holmes County District Public Library
Sonogram pictures of a developing baby. —Chantal Walvoord, Rockwall County Library
A piece of bologna! It was in a children’s picture book, so I think someone was snacking while reading. —Joy Scott, Steele Creek Library
Bologna. —Helen Silver, Spanish River Library
Bologna. —Kate Troutman, Calvert Library
A patron found a handwritten note which he took to be a threat on the life of then Vice-President Al Gore, reported it to the FBI and members of the Secret Service showed up at my office. —Teresa Newton, Lawrence County Public Library
Divorce papers. —Sarah Lilly, Robbins Library
A pseudo playing card of 5 1/2 hearts.—Hebah Amin-Headley, Mid-Continent Public Library
A pop tart, used as a bookmark. —Julie Gosner, Largo Public Library
French fries. —Nancy Martinez, Joliet Public Library
A laminated marijuana leaf used as a bookmark. —Masyn Phoenix, Tillamook Bay Community College Library
An uncooked piece of bacon. —Caroline Barnett, First Regional Library
A piece of raw bacon. —Laura Foltin, Bucks County Free Library
$30. It was in a book given as a gift to a teen. I suppose if the teen never acknowledged the money then the sender knew they never opened the book! —Susan Ray, Simsbury Public Library
$100. When I called the most recent patron, she wasn’t home, but her husband took the call. Respecting privacy, I simply said, “We have something at the front desk that she may have left in a book.” His response, “Has she been using cash as a bookmark again?” —Amy Gillespie, Hill Top Prep Library
$1000 in a book donated to the library. —Shameka Key, Blackwater Regional Library
A paycheck. —Jackie Schumacher, Stayton Public Library
A paycheck. —Jamie LaGasse, Shelter Island Public Library
A used, lottery ticket inside A Spender’s Guide to Debt-Free Living. —Lisa Crisman, West End Branch Library
Childhood pictures of a grad school classmate a couple of years ahead of me. —Spencer Keralis, University of North Texas Library
A note that said, “It’s Hard Interrupting a Donkey. They Hit Everything. My Only Neighbor Excludes Yall. Never Open Water With Heat Around Torches? Same code as always…I’m counting on you! Write me back in the book Reusing Old Graves, by Douglas Davies.” I figured out that it stood for – I HID THE MONEY. NOW WHAT? Our library did not own the book mentioned, nor did anyone in our county system so the trail went cold. —Karen Nootbaar, Northland Public Library
Visitor Registration form for the county jail. —Martha Amerson, Forsyth County Public Library
Kraft Single used as a bookmark (still wrapped, probably still edible). —Julia Welzen, Hamilton East Public Library
Pickle slices. —Kathleen Green, Harris County Public Library
I found a play ticket in a book from a play in Toronto 20 years earlier. —Julie Najjar, St. Mark Library
A whole cooked shrimp. —Emily Calkins, King County Library System
Wine label used as a bookmark. I went out and bought the wine. Delicious! —CarolAnn Tack, Merrick Library
Used pregnancy test. —Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Community Library
A patron’s social security card. —LaVonne Tucker, Montgomery County Memorial Library System
A photo of someone I know. —Patty Franz, Pamunkey Regional Library
A small cleaver, for cheese maybe? —Lisa Fladung, Jefferson County Public Library
Handmade affirmation bookmark that said they WILL get better at reading. —Mollie Goodell, Sugar Land Branch Library
Debrah Gai Lewis lives in Lakewood, New South Wales, Australia (near Laurieton) and is a bookmark collector, yoga teacher and SoulCollage® Facilitator (among other things).
ABOUT the blog
In this blog I highlight new additions to my bookmark collection, feature stories about some of my favourite bookmarks (mine and other people's), and share interesting snippets I find on bookmarks and related topics. Thanks for visiting. Enjoy!
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