Friday, February 11, 2011


QUESTION: What do a Poke’mon sticker, a subscription card to National Geographic, a piece of yarn, and a dollar bill all have in common?

ANSWER: I have used all of these items as bookmarks.

It’s true. The funny thing is, I don’t remember ever using a bookmark as a bookmark. I have a few bookmarks in my pencil holder on my desk, but I never seem to use them in the way there were intended.

This realization came to me a couple of weeks ago, and I happened to read Linda O’Connell’s blog that featured a wonderful story titled "A Present from the Past" from Tuesday, Feb. 8 about finding an Selective Service card in an old book. Linda called the phone number listed at the bottom, got in touch with the person’s granddaughter, and was able to return the Selective Service card to the rightful owner (or granddaughter of the rightful owner).

The story struck a chord with me on a couple of levels. Not only did she return a forgotten treasure left in a book, but the card was lost because someone had used it as a bookmark. So here are my questions: Have you ever found anything interesting in an old book? Do you check your books before you return them to the library or donate them? What have you used as a bookmark?

I bet the library has some interesting stories!

Let me know about your experiences, and I’ll talk to you later.



  1. Mary,
    Thank you, I am so honored that you mentioned me and also that my story touched you so deeply.

  2. Hi Mary! I love these questions. I always flip through the pages of books, to see if there's anything stuck inside of them. Once I found an airline seat stub inside a library book. I don't remember the year on the date, but the month and day was that of my youngest son's! Now..what have I used as a bookmark? 1) A clean, unused, folded kleenex! 2) Any piece of paper I could find...such as a hunk torn from a newspaper 3) a pencil 4) a business card 5) an envelope 6) a "holy card"....Shall I keep going?! LOL

  3. Thought-provoking post, Mary! And I agree--Linda always has such insightful personal stories to share. But back to your question. A few years ago, one of my third-grade students presented me with a gift: a beat-up old paperback about John Denver published back in the 1970s when he was a big star. She had spotted it at rummage sale and convinced her parents to buy it for me (for a nickel) because she knew I liked to play John's songs on my guitar. Anyway, inside that book was a ticket stub to a 1975 concert in Chicago. I had attended a John Denver concert in St. Louis that very same year, so it brought back some fun memories. I still have the book AND the ticket stub!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your stories, and to Linda for starting this! I love these. Becky, I can relate, I recently used a piece of junk mail, and wrote notes to myself on the back, which is something I'm doing more now when I want to remember beautiful language or interesting phrases or just write down words I need to look up for meaning. And Dianna, finding something we can relate to just confirms the interconnectedness of all things. We should compile an anthology about bookmarks!

  5. You know, there's an idea!

  6. Hmmm. I've used candy wrappers as bookmarks.

    Once at a book fair I found a Latin book that has belonged to the boy who took me to my eighth-grade dance on the Admiral. I put the book down and couldn't find it later. Dang it all.


  7. Heartbreaking story about the boy on the Admiral. But the candy wrapper bookmark did combine two of the great joys in life, eating candy and reading. I hope you at least got to eat the candy!