The little unassuming scraps of life carry so much information and so many memories.
I think this is especially true of bookmarks - those little bits that get tucked away and carried along with us.
Sometimes we use a purpose-built bookmark - maybe it came with the book when we bought it - and sometimes we just reach out blindly to the side table or into our bag and grab whatever we find - an envelope, a receipt, a student loan bill, a bus ticket. Bookmarks, like hair elastics, are things I always wish I had more of, no matter how many I have.
Hang on a sec - if you only read books on an IPad or something, this probably seems like a very Stone Age topic.
Bookmarks? Didn't we stop using those back when we stopped wearing watches, reading physical books, using physical bus tickets, calling travel agents - or calling anyone at all?
Well, Buck Rogers, let me tell you - I love physical books, and that's mostly what I still read. Some other people do, too, I hear. If you haven't tried one in awhile, I highly recommend adding it back into the mix for so many reasons.
I like touching and admiring book covers.
I like the very efficient random access capabilities of a physical book - much easier than clicking back back back to find something in an ebook.
I like being able to look at the bookmark sticking out of the book and knowing instantly how far along I am.
Books smell amazing, too. Oh man, walking into the tiny town library (converted from an old one-room schoolhouse) in my Connecticut home town - one of the best smells ever.
I even like the weight and bulk of books, especially when I pack them for a trip (which mystifies my husband). We're awash in choices these days, so having to narrow things down to a few reading options is a gift - a restful break from having too many options for fricking everything, everywhere we go, all the time.
And physical books hold bookmarks, those little fading snapshots of moments in time.
Our lives have fewer and fewer paper reminders of where we've been, but pull together some of your bookmarks, and you have your own little archeological dig.
You might find an old Paris Metro ticket, a to-do list from college, an old Christmas card, or a bookmark from a bookstore you loved that no longer exists. (Or - maybe the bookstore DOES still exist and you realize you really need to get back there.) In any case, you find your past - things you're happy to have left behind and maybe some things to recapture and reincorporate.
When I was trying to think of a little thank you object to include in Navy Midnight orders, it didn't take long to decide to make a bookmark - a small useful thing that is also a good companion and holder of places and memories.
It makes me happy to put more bookmarks out in the world.
And ok, gun to my head, if I had to pick a favorite bookmark in my collection (ahem, besides the ones I've designed), it would have to be the T Rex.
I mean, tell me that's not an awesome bookmark! It's got a dinosaur on it! Look at that great color combo. Also, it seems specifically designed to look interesting while sticking out of your book, which, oddly enough, isn't usually the case with purpose-built bookmarks. A missed design opportunity, I think. Something to consider when designing my next bookmark...