Book Talk

Book Talk: Bookmarks

Today let’s talk about bookmarks, because how could we readers survive without them? I mean sure, you could be a plebeian like I once was and use anything and everything as a bookmark, but where’s the fun in that? So we’re going to talk about bookmarks, the different kinds and what makes each of them great (or not so great). I should more accurately call this a best and worst list because I’m opinionated and there are some that I genuinely think are awful.

I’ll discuss everything somewhat in alphabetical order, and then give you all my ordered list based on my personal preference. Feel free to tell me how wrong I am and share what you like to use as bookmarks in the comments! This is a silly discussion so please don’t take anything I say seriously.


Classic Paper


I mean duh, when people think of bookmarks they probably think of the regular paper, card stock, or cardboard. When it comes to bookmarks you can never go wrong with paper and I always enjoy getting one of these no matter the print. They may not be the longest lasting out there, but they always look nice, are comfortable to use, are simple to make, and are relatively cheap to buy. They also usually fit snugly into the crevice of a book and it’s just perfect.

I’m of the camp that I tend to like shorter ones on thicker card stock. I don’t like when bookmarks are longer than the book and stick out of the ends, that’s just asking for them to get all bent. I also like when bookmarks are a little flexible but not all that bendable, something sturdy with a nice design. Extras like tassels can be nice though I like them less over time.

Oddly enough, and this may just be me, but am I the only one that doesn’t like laminated bookmarks? It’s okay, and I know they protect them, but I just don’t like the plastic feel. I would consider using them for nicer more expensive paper bookmarks, but it’d have to be a really nice one.


Corner/Origami

This is actually a bookmark style that I have yet to try but am interesting in trying out in the future. I’ve seen a lot of DIY tutorials on how to create cute and colorful character corner bookmarks and it’s on my list of craft projects to do with the little ones in the future.

I like the idea of slipping these little guys on the edge of a couple of pages to hold it in and I imagine it has the same appeal as the magnet clips in that they’re smaller and cuter. I just wonder how well they stay inside a book since they slip onto corners, but maybe they work well and I just don’t know yet.


Cross Stitch

I put cross stitch and fabric in different categories, as silly as it sounds, because I like one and not the other. I don’t like the feel of all the threads in cross stitch, especially if there is nothing to cover up all the frayed ends. They are also not always perfectly straight and can be floppy. Even though I’ve used strips of cross stitch before I didn’t like them because they slipped out so easily. Sure there can be some really cute or cheeky designs but I’m just not all that interested in ever getting another one.


Fabric

Unlike the cross stitch, I actually like some fabric bookmarks. There are so many made from a variety of different cloth, such as cotton, silk, and felt. They can sometimes be a little thick or weighty, but I can’t complain about how nice and soft the material is compared to many others, and the fact that they should be fairly long lasting. Stitching one up is easy enough, especially if you’ve got a sewing machine. Just like the cross stitch though, they are a little flimsy and slide out of books easily it seems like.


Magnetic Clips

Magnet bookmarks are my new obsession. I picked up a set of Harry Potter house clips to try out since I’ve seen a couple of unboxing videos that included cute character bookmarks in this style and I am in L O V E. They are small, they don’t get in the way while I’m reading (I leave it clipped on pages that I’ve already read and move it when I’m finished and ready to put the book down), they are ultra cute, and most importantly they stay in place and will not not slide out.

My one complaint, and I don’t know if this is the case for other magnetic clips or if it’s just the ones that I have, the cardboard that the magnet and print is pasted onto is quite cheap and I can see that the corners where it’s folded are a little worn. They already look like cracked spines on a paperback book so I worry that they won’t last. The set I bought was relatively cheap (only around $4.50 for the set of four) so I can’t complain too much.

Pro tip: don’t be like me and just clip a single page, you’ll tear your page that way if you’re not careful due to the weight of the magnets being heavier than the page. Clip 4-5 pages with the front of the design being on the page you left off on.


Leather

I didn’t think about it until now, but I actually quite like the idea of a leather bookmark. It is a nice material that is pleasing tactilely, aesthetically, usually quite flexible, extremely durable and long lasting, and if lucky may even smell nice too. As I write this I ask myself why I don’t have one, and then I remember oh yeah leather is actually pretty expensive. For justifiable reasons of course, but for a person looking for a bookmark to invest in, this is definitely a material that would be worth the price.


Metal

Out of all the bookmark styles, this is the one that I loathe and refuse to use for a number of reasons. I was gifted one as a teenager and for the longest time it was the only bookmark that I had and I was a voracious reader. It was weighty and a little thick, it did not fit snugly between pages, it slid out easily, it started to tarnish after a year, it was ugly and sharp, ughhh I hated that bookmark.

A lot of metal bookmarks have beautiful designs and interesting shapes, lots of beads and other flare which is nice but I’ve found that they are a little less practical. All the extra decorative pieces tends to make them quite heavy and oddly shaped, not fitting nicely inside a book. The one I had didn’t have any extra pieces to it and it still slid out of my book easily.

I’ve also seen some metal clips that were absolutely gorgeous, and I don’t know how I feel about those given how much I love the magnetic clips. I worry about tearing pages with the flimsy little magnetics, so what would a weighty metal clip do? Maybe they’re really great, but I just don’t see the appeal. Legit, there was a book box I wanted to order that offered a book only or goodies version, and the goodies advertised a metal bookmark. I turned down the goodies version because I have no interest in ever owning a metal bookmark ever again.

I really hate metal, partially because of my nickel allergy but I also cringe when I hear metal clanging or scraping against anything, literally sends shivers down my spine, so it’s just an added negative to me. This is by far my least favorite kind of bookmark and one I will never use.


Wood

This is a material that I have always liked the idea of, but in reality never liked. They look absolutely beautiful, wood feels very nice, and they should be quite durable depending on how thick the cut is. I have had wooden bookmarks in the past and let me tell you, they are either so thick and stiff that they feel clunky and don’t fit nicely in my book, or are so thin and brittle that they end up snapping somehow. Maybe I just haven’t found one that was perfect, but to me there are simply better materials out there to use for a bookmark that I prefer.


Random Items

A playing card, a paper clip, a sticky note, an envelope, receipt, a bill, the list goes on and on. Some folks don’t use bookmarks and that’s okay! I didn’t for a long time mostly because I read a lot of ebooks, which is cheaper and much easier for me. Now that I have more income and a car to go to the library, however, I’ve gotten back into the habit of reading physical books. Thus I started using every little thing on my desk that would fit in my book until I picked up a few bookmarks. I can never judge because really, anything can be used as a bookmark in a pinch, I just don’t prefer it.


My Hierarchy

So what types of bookmarks do I use and which are my favorite? I made my own ordered list for best to worst bookmarks because why not? I use a ★ to denote which ones I currently use, a ☆ for ones I would like to have.

1. Magnetic Clips ★
2. Classic Paper ★
3. Leather ☆
4. Fabric ☆
5. Corner / Origami ☆
6. Cross Stitch
7. Random Items
8. Wood
9. Metal


What do you all use as bookmarks?
Do you have any favorite kinds? Ones you loathe?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!

6 Comments

  1. Liz

    I made corner bookmarks! They’re easy to make, but they’re too heavy for a book page to just use one; you have to put multiple pages into it so it’s not too flimsy—or flatten it before using it, which takes a lot of time and requires a lot of pressure.

    I have a paper bookmark a little thicker than copy paper, but thinner than card stock; I got it with my first book from Revell Publishing’s review program. It’s quite worn; I continue to use it because I can keep up with the word lines.

    I also have a pink and brown crocheted one; I got it from a friend (also a blogger) with a Christmas card. It’s one of my favorites, because it’s soft and not so pink it annoys me; it works best in/with hardcover books and doesn’t feel as messy as paper ones.

    I’ve noticed paper bookmarks tend to collect the oils from my hands a lot worse; with my current one, it looks like I rubbed pencil lead with my fingers and then rubbed all over the bookmark…not a pleasing view.

    1. I never considered the oil issue! Maybe all of my bookmarks just fall apart before I can ever notice. A crochet bookmark sounds nice! Does it stay inside the book okay? I’d be worried about my little one pulling it out of the book. ~_~

      Hmm flattening the corner bookmarks sounds like a pain. I suppose it could sit between some books in a pile for a while to flatten it, but that’s a lot of extra work.

      I used to use long rectangle paper bookmarks to follow lines, it really helped me stay on track. The one perk to a nice flat even bookmark. 🙂

  2. I don’t like having “bookmarks.” I almost always grab anything, ripped paper, receipts, return & hold tickets from the library, and currently a free postcard from a local museum. Funny thing is that my husband and I made bookmarks for our wedding favors/seating arrangements. There are left over bookmarks and I don’t touch them, and my husband always yell at me. XD I don’t know I don’t like having little things around the house. Which is a little funny since I remember loving bookmarks when I was little. I feel like the alternative bookmarks were starting to get popular when I was little….. like I remember the book thongs being a thing. I was briefly thinking about getting new bookmarks the other day at Barnes and Noble! I got suckered in by those magnetic bookmarks. If I wasn’t on a budget, I probably would of gotten them. Now I kind-of wish I did after hearing your positive reviews.

    Oh and I agree about the laminated bookmarks! That is why I don’t like my wedding bookmarks. They’re laminated. They fall out of paperbacks too easily. I guess it depends on the paper that the book is printed on.

    1. Haha yess! I realized after I wrote this that I’m really nit picky about bookmarks. I guess when you have a lot of choices it’s easy to be. I’m really antsy about bookmarks that slip out easily, it used to happen to me all the time.

      I can totally get not wanting a lot of little things lying around. I’ve seen some bloggers keep a mug on their bookshelves with all of their bookmarks and it’s a nice idea. I like the magnetic ones because they’re easy enough to leave clipped to some pages or to toss them in a jar I use for all my hair ties.

      I had never heard of book thongs but they’re definitely interesting, I don’t know how I feel about them yet! Since I have kids I can see my 1 year old grabbing the string and ripping it out of the book, and with all the beads and such on the end that wouldn’t go well for me haha.

      She has already terrorized my books with nice pokemon cardboard bookmark that had a tassel, she actively sought out my books and would pull the bookmark out by the tassel. I had to retire the poor bookmark because of little one.

  3. Mysti

    I actually like the idea of bookmarks but I never use them! I end up forgetting where I stashed the bookmark when I get lost in a book, and then I have to search the book for it… so, no.

    I’ve had some a couple of times, though. If I had to pick I’d like a smooth cardstock bookmark with a small tassel. I like the tassels because I can slide the whole bookmark in and just leave the tassels sticking out, so I don’t have to worry about the bookmark itself getting creased. The metal ones are too weighty and I worry a little about the magnetic ones being too heavy for the pages, as well – especially with cheaper editions where the paper is thinner.

    Book Depository sends bookmarks when you buy books from them – I like their current collection. I don’t actually use them for my usual reading fare, but the designs are perfect for colouring in and I use them to tag important points in my textbooks.

    1. I had no idea Book Depository shipped out bookmarks with their books! I’ll have to remember that and order from them next time I buy some books. 🙂

      I thought the same thing with magnetics but I solve the issue by clipping several pages that I already finished to balance the weight, haven’t had any issues with tearing and it’s very easy to find my place! The only trouble is that they’re small and can be easy to lose I imagine, I always leave the 4 that I have in the books I’m currently reading / planning to read next as a way of keeping track. ^^;;

      I’m with you on metal ones, there’s just nothing about them that I like. I don’t like bookmarks that are too heavy and can slip out of a book easily.

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