This week’s Book Blogger Hop asks what is your favourite book accessory that is NOT a book.
As a librarian, I like bookmarks. They are decorative and protect your book from dog-earing.
I have a history with bookmarks, mostly the commercial ones made to advertise books. They are left on bookshop counters as a freebie. Dymock’s in Melbourne, where I have done a lot of shopping for my school library over the years, used to lay them out on a separate counter which acts as a barrier for their cafe area(Not so much now). I used to take a variety of colourful YA or children’s themed bookmarks, which I kept at the checkout desk for the kids. There were also the Insideadog bookmarks from the State Library(no longer, alas!) and, in more recent years, the ones you get from the Premier’s Reading Challenge. All put in a box and kept at the desk!
I admit it was a sneaky way to persuade my library users not to dog-ear the books they borrowed, and guess what? It worked! “Would you like a bookmark?” I asked. Some said no thanks, because they already had a special bookmark. A friend, the art teacher, used to make bookmarks by hand for the students in her literacy class, with their names on them. Most of them gave me an enthusiastic yes. So I’d get out the box of bookmarks and watch them carefully choose the one they liked best. Sometimes they would ask if they could have two and I told them to help themselves. So... I prevented damage to the books and made it a favour!
One year I made bookmarks for Christmas gifts for my friends, on black cardboard with silver and gold pens, writing their names in Dwarvish runes. I was very proud of myself, until a friend glanced up from hers and told me I’d mis-spelled her name, which didn’t have an e in it! (I made it again)
Only two of my books got bookmarks made for them. One was Crime Time: Australians Behaving Badly. The other was my so-far only novel, Wolfborn. Crime Time was published by Ford Street, which has a policy of doing bookmarks for its books. The Wolfborn bookmark happened because the novel, which I’d hoped to launch at Aussiecon 4, the World Science Fiction Convention, was delayed till December. I was disappointed, but asked if they could at least come up with something I could give out and sign at the con, and the publishers came through, with posters, samples and bookmarks. I think the bookmark was designed by a work experience student - or was it an intern? - due to the regular person being off on leave. Anyway, whoever it was did a great job, even making a specific spot for autographs!
Both bookmarks have come in handy for signings since then. Melbourne author Michael Pryor says that for children’s books mini-posters are even better than bookmarks, because kids stick them to their diaries or textbooks and other kids see them. I do see his point, but the only mini-posters I ever had were for Crime Time. I’ve found those handy too!
So, readers, do you have any stories about bookmarks?
|My bookmarks, photo by Romy of Lost In Stories|