Book Reviews · Non-fiction · Unusual Reading Habits

Forgotten Bookmarks

In one of my earliest posts, I discussed the fact that my bookmarks have a tendency to vanish, only to reappear several months later. This phenomena has forced me to use some unusual things to mark my place. Despite the fact that I currently do have several bookmarks available for my use, there have been a few times lately when they just haven’t been handy. So I’ve added a few items to my list of unusual bookmarks, including: a tube of lip balm, pens, a sales tag, and a PS4 game case.

You’d think that at some point I’d learn to keep at least one proper bookmark in every room of my home, but clearly that lesson has yet to sink in. I do, however, officially have proof that I am not the only one who leaves unusual items in books to mark their place!

This week I came across a book called Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller’s Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages, written by Michael Popek. Popek began a blog called Forgotten Bookmarks in 2007, which showcases some of the unusual things that people leave inside the books they sell. (He also has a Twitter account @ForgottenBkmrks, where he posts additional pictures.)

The book itself is a collection of various “forgotten bookmarks” that he’s found while examining books that he has bought for his family’s business. From handwritten letters that date back to the 1800s, to old black and white photographs, to razor blades, Popek has found some very interesting things.

Each section of the book focuses on a specific type of artifact, such as photographs, letters, or advertisements. The artifacts are all photographed, along with the book in which they were found, and some include additional historical information the author was able to find. I really appreciated that Popek took the time to type out many of the letters and notes that appeared in the book; some of the original materials would be difficult to read due to issues of handwriting and fading.

Forgotten Bookmarks could either be a very fast read, or take a significant amount of time, depending on how much attention you choose to devote to each individual artifact. I found myself spending a lot of time attempting to read some of the advertisements and certificates, which were very interesting. If you’re looking for an interesting non-fiction book that has a lot of pictures, I would recommend checking this one out.

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