Bookmark Rodeo

About a week and a half ago, Eagle-Eyed Editor, a blogger I’ve recently come to admire, posted about souvenir book hunting.  Now, I usually don’t bring books home from vacation, because I’m often traveling on the strength of one backpack.  (A big one, to be sure, but you can’t do two weeks in England on one backpack and expect to be toting many purchases home with you.)  Sure, there are exceptions – I brought a load of cookbooks back from California in 2009, for instance, and found ways to cram several teas into my backpack after last year’s trip to England.  Oh, and mugs too.  But my low-key travel preferences generally work for my souvenir-buying habits because what I really can’t resist on a trip is a new bookmark (or ten).  Since I was a kid, I’ve collected bookmarks.  I love ’em, and it recently occurred to me that they make perfect travel souvenirs for bibliophiles like myself.  They’re tiny and flat, they fit easily in a purse or backpack, and they make me smile and remember the place I acquired them every time I use them (which is daily).  So today, I thought I’d show you some of my favorites.

Since we’re talking about trips, these are three of the bookmarks I acquired in England.  (I bought two more, but one is in use and one is AWOL.  That’s a thing about bookmarks – they do tend to go missing and reappear with alarming frequency.)  The one on the left is my favorite, because the place I bought it – the British Library – is easily one of my favorite places in London, if not the world.  In the middle is a bookmark I spotted at the Bodleian Library in Oxford and had to have, and on the right is my souvenir from Shakespeare’s Globe in London (more on that visit to come in a future post).  All three are leather, and beautiful, and I love using them.

While we’re on the subject of trips, here are three bookmarks I’ve picked up on various trips to New York City, all at the Strand, my most favoritest bookstore in the world.  (Yes, my love for the Strand demands juvenile vocabulary.)  I go every time I visit the 212, without fail, and I always leave with a bulging tote bag full of books, and a bookmark or two.  The cardboard specimen on the left was an impulse buy near the register.  The two metal bookmarks on the right were carefully considered purchases.  (Yes, I put great thought into my bookmark acquisitions.)  One is a miniature “subway sign” of the stop I use to go to the Strand – 14th Street and Union Square.  The other is a cutout of the storefront that makes my heart skip a beat every time I approach it.  (P.S. Mom, when we meet up for our girls’ day in NYC this summer, we’re going to the Strand.  Sorry, but it can’t be helped.)

A bookmark addict like me can’t just restrict herself to buying while on vacation, though.  I feed my addiction to leather bookmarks while playing tourist in my own town, too.  I got this one this winter, one day when hubby took me out for a date to the National Gallery of Art, my favorite D.C. museum.  Let me tell you, this isn’t the only bookmark I have from the National Gallery.  That place is bookmark heaven.  I can barely control myself.

Finally, here are a couple of my other favorite bookmarks.  I have no idea where the “Reading Girl” bookmark came from, or when I got it, or how I came by it.  I used to be really into “The Girls” (I have a “Tennis Girl” magnet on my fridge left over from my varsity days) and I probably got this bookmark then.  I’ve had it forever, and I love it, because I am definitely a “Reading Girl.”  The other bookmark is a recent acquisition.  My mom and I were shopping at a paper goods store in my town where they had a display of “Keep Calm” goodies.  I showed my mom and explained the British World War II slogan to her, then mentioned I’d been mulling over buying this bookmark for a few weeks.  My mom gave me a look that plainly said, “Kid, loosen the purse strings,” and told me she was going to buy it for me.  Unfortunately, it was $3.00, and she only had $1.00 on her.  Like mother, like daughter.  I actually had $2.00 – I was flush that day – so we split the cost and I got my long-desired “Keep Calm” bookmark.  I use it exclusively for British mysteries and biographies of Queen Elizabeth.

That’s just a fraction of my frighteningly large collection of bookmarks.  I’d show you more, but I don’t want to freak you out.  What about you – are you obsessed with bookmarks?  What’s your go-to travel souvenir?

15 thoughts on “Bookmark Rodeo

  1. I love that you collect bookmarks. I have a few from the UK too, and assorted ones from other travels. That Bodleian one makes my heart skip a beat!

    • Oooh, I’d love to see your UK bookmarks! Pics, please?

      I got two others from the Bodleian – both cardstock – but they are the ones that are AWOL and in use. What breaks my heart is that the one that is AWOL was my favorite – plain white, said “Silence Please” just like the signs around the libe. I hope it turns up soon.

  2. I love all these bookmarks, but especially the Globe Theatre, the Strand, the National Gallery of Art and the “Keep Calm and Carry On”. Apart from souvenir books, I also like tea towels — they’re flat and easy to squash into luggage. And thanks so much for mentioning me on your post today. I’m so flattered! 🙂

    • 🙂

      Tea towels – now there’s an idea! I have a new item to add to my souvenir list on my next vacation. My husband is officially mad at you! (I jest, I jest!)

      • Mmmmm, Old Ebbitt. Haven’t been there in awhile! Yum. Now I want to go.

        I do need to bake him something. Last week I tweeted that if I made it through the week with my sanity intact I was throwing myself a party, with cake. Somehow that joke prompted him to ask “Where’s my cake?” all weekend. (Uh, it was supposed to be MY cake.) And now he won’t pipe down until I actually bake him a cake. Boys.

    • Oh, P.S. – thanks for editing out my duplicate comment on your blog the other day. I felt so much less stupid after it was gone! 🙂

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  4. Love this post. Collecting bookmarks from your travels is such a great idea!! 🙂 Love your collection, and would love to see more. Love the story about you and mother splitting the cost of a bookmark. 🙂 Too cute!

    I wasn’t big on bookmarks till recently. I have only recently begun to realise the charms of bookmarks. 🙂

    Sadly, we don’t have many bookmarks on sale here. I get the ones that I use from bookstores – they usually add a couple to my shopping bag whenever I buy new books. Leather and metal bookmarks – I don’t think we even get them here. All we get are sad, paper ones that hardly merit collecting.

    That said, I should maybe look deeper for them. 🙂

    I have been toying with the idea of religiously buying picture postcards as souvenirs from the places that we visit – I don’t do that often enough. That should be a good reminder of the spots we visit.

    Usually, whenever we visit some place, we buy as souvenirs whatever the place is famous for – sometimes coffee powder, sometimes fresh honey, sometimes home-made chocolate, sometimes cookies. I also have this habit of buying at least one book for myself from the places that I visit. It’s my personal travel souvenir.

    PS: Too much of ‘love’ in this comment. Please to excuse. Couldn’t help it. 🙂
    PPS: Too big a comment. Couldn’t help that either. 🙂

    • Collecting picture postcards from your travels would be a great idea! Bonus – you could use them as bookmarks! It’s a great idea to bring back what your destination is most famous for; after all, that’s what they do best. And books, of course, do make great souvenirs.

      Not all of my bookmarks are leather or metal, although I do love those – mainly because they’re hard-wearing; I can’t ruin them as easily. 🙂

      And no need to apologize for too much love or too long of a comment! Enthusiasm and writing novels in a comments section… I’m guilty of both, all the time!

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