Page Savers

Posted Fri, 08/01/08

There is an interesting article at Biblio Unbound about bookmarks used for reading print books (link is no longer valid):

Page savers: How to avoid using bookmark materials that can actually harm your books…

The article points out:

The ideal bookmark as an effective utilitarian device should be acid-free, thin enough that it will not indent the pages it rests between, and include no substances (such as colors or decorative materials) that can bleed into book paper.

I have a few "fancy" bookmarks with tassels, although most of the time I use whatever is handy: an old envelope, a scrap of paper, and on occasion a tissue. I never thought about harming book pages with "improper" bookmarks. Some of my fancier bookmarks were chewed to bits when Rainee was a puppy.

Another no-no is the fabled dog-ear. This folded corner of a book page reduces the commercial and aesthetic value of a book. The crease can weaken the paper until the corner simply falls away, leaving you with unsightly damage that, while it can usually be repaired, is more easily avoided. Bookmarks can do more than show you where you left off reading. They can provide everything from diversion to mania.

I'm guilty of dog-earing on occasion, too.

When it comes to a bookmark's structure, you want flat, thin, and gentle edges. The ultimate safety bookmark, of course, might be memory. Would it be good brain exercise to try it? If we can remember where we left the book, why can’t we recall the page that's waiting for us to return?

Bravo, yet easier said than done.

Irish Eyes: Books & Reading

Tags: Books & Reading