S1E6 - Bookmarks: Why Not Just Dog-ear?
Books have been part of the insanity of waking life for many, many years, and 20 years just for me. At least, since that’s when I started reading words all by myself. Most of the time I’m still pretty good at it, although once in a while I’ll see a sentence or name of a store and think one of the words is completely different, but it usually settles back into making sense after an impactful moment of clarity within brain fog. Now that I’m onto longer chapter books that aren’t always appropriate for a single sitting, thought goes into how to treat the physical book. (Yes, even when I stay up late into the night sucked into some crazy story, crying with Stephen King’s “The Green Mile,” terrified with Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy.) Library books, borrowed books, books from our shelf of books a.k.a. the bookshelf, there is always care I put into the act of reading. I find that I use bookmarks to leave no trace in respect to the act of engaging with a physical book. The trace left is in my brain, memory, whatever, not on the page. Sometimes I’ll write a sentence down that holds on, or an idea, but the underlining of college days didn’t stick with me. Reading for me is basically a ritual that goes like this: I choose a book, I choose a bookmark, that bookmark stays with the book, and when I finish the book the bookmark goes back with the other bookmarks. While reading, I set the bookmark next to me if I’m safe in my home, stationary and staying put for a while, or in another portion of the book when I’m out and about like on BART to San Francisco. I often use handmade bookmarks because for special occasions growing up my mom would make beautiful watercolor-painted bookmarks. There’s one from when I was at Interlochen for the summer in 2009, my feyoncé has one with a guitar from a birthday, and all of them are special memories. Some of the bookmarks seem to have left the pile indefinitely and are probably in books that I have yet to finish. On that note, I should really always keep them poking out of the top of books so I know which are in use. I can always pull one out and give up on the book; sometimes that just happens! I do dog-ear one particular book, a daily sort of topic-based meditation-y book I keep in the bathroom. It became a habit since I go through it each year, but maybe when the edges fall off that will change. How do you treat books in your moments of mind-bending literary exploration?