Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bookmark or Dogear?

Now, for as along there are books, there are people who will belong to two separate groups of readers.  There are the people who bookmark a book with just about any thing from a sugar packet to a bus ticket and a napkin; or they'll actually use a very nice, pretty and - at times - expensive bookmark to mark their place in their chosen read.  
Then, you'll have the dogearers.  The people who fold over the top corner of the page to mark the place (and sometimes, that little top corner takes up half a page!  I've seen some books with massive creases in their pages where people have done this and it's left me wondering why!).  So, okay, you're stop is coming up and you've got to get off the train or bus; this doesn't mean you have to disrespect the author by flipping over the corner of the page.
My collection of bookmarks in my office.
Now, I'm no saint.  I used to do this in high school until my Grandpa told me that dogearing killed books.  He said it weakened the pages and cause them to tear easily if they were dogeared enough.  So, he insisted that no matter where I was to try and use a bookmark.  It didn't have to be anything fancy; it just had to mark the place in the book, that's all.  My Grandpa passed away in 1997 and still, I cringe whenever I see somebody dogear a book; actually I nearly ask them to put a bookmark in instead.  But I don't; because it's none of my business what they do to that book if it's from their own personal collection.  What I do hate is going into a public library (anywhere around Brisbane) and finding a good lot of their collection has been dogeared at some point in their borrowing lives.  Even when the brand new books have come back, their clean, white, pristine pages have been marred with the horrible marks of being dogeared.
I must say that books will get damaged during their lives.  Their covers will be bumped and torn a little through wear and tear and the tops and bottoms of the spines will acquire a wear mark of  where your finger has pushed down on it to pull it off the shelf and push it back on.  However, there is no need to dogear a book if you can help it.  As you may have noticed, I'm a bookmarker; and yes, I do have a large collection of bookmarks to choose from when I pick up a book to read.  
I have given my niece and friends bookmarks as little gifts so when they read a book I've lent them, they know I'd like them to use a bookmark.  I know that sounds like I'm being a nag, but really I do wish for my books to last more than just my life; but into my niece's generation and beyond.  Books are valuable and brilliant things - as you all know - and I do believe that dogearing them isn't exactly the best for them; even though it may be the easiest thing to do at the time.  
So, what do you do?  Are you a dogearer or bookmarker?  Do you know anyone who are either of these and you find it frustrating they dogear your books; or do they respect your books as much as you do?  Until my next post, happy reading!


  1. I am living proof that people can change. I used to bookmark but went to rehab and corrected my evil ways. I now bookmark excessively, tearing used pieces of paper to mark interesting places.

  2. I didn't dogear for very long; and it's an easy - but bad habit - to get into. But when I did get into the habit of bookmarking, it made me feel better that my books looked and felt newer than if I didn't dogear them. Now, when I lend a book, I give the people I'm lending it to a bookmark as an incentive for them to not dogear my books; and they appreciate it more.

  3. For the books on my Bookcrossing reading list, I usually do the dogear thing. Laziness, I guess. I now know you are anti that, and I will not blame you if you decide to defriend me from Facebook for my poor book stewardship.:( Not to mention I'm the grown aunt of an impressionable nine-year-old boy and have a niece coming in late August. This is amongst the long list of behaviors that obviously would not set a good example for them, let alone my future children if I had any of my own. And being a Christian, you'd think I'd be better about taking care of things knowing that God's watching me and everything, and sloppiness in any area (including the dog earing) certainly does not glorify him. (Sorry to bring religion into this. I can't help it sometimes.) :,(

    However, if it's a library book or it otherwise doesn't belong to me, then I'll generally use a bookmark or note card or something. Maybe it's because I feel worse about ruining someone else's property than I do my own. Even as someone who is in the process of editing three novels, that by dogearing, I am engageing in bad mannners against the author and not just the owner of the book. My apologies to all authors whose books I have so wickedly defaced over the years. (*Says she as she guiltily unfolds the corner of the page she had left off on and grabs something to act as a bookmark to stick in there instead.*)