Ever since Gutenberg rolled out his infamous printing press in the mid-fourteen hundreds, books have warmed our hearts and homes in ample abundance. For every great book ever dreamed, however, there comes a need for a great bookmark to hold our place. Bookmarks serve to keep our page in that current book on our nightstand or to hold our place in a beloved classic for us to pull down from its shelf and return to time and time again.
Bookmarks, like the great books that keep them nestled within their pages, connect us to our world. They provide for us a tangible element in the intangible words of imagination and wonder. From the deep seas of Jules Verne to the outer reaches of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, bookmarks allow us to venture in and out of these remarkable works with ease. More than that, they serve as expressions of their readers tastes, personal objects of sentimental value designed to be carried with and among us.
That said, however, a bookmark can be anything when you really think about it. A napkin on the kitchen table, or a fallen leaf taken from the yard on a brisk autumn day offer the same service in regards to keeping our place within a book as would an expensive handcrafted piece of leather.
Bookmarks can be hard or soft, big or small, fancy or unassuming. The magnificent thing about bookmarks is they can be tailored or created to anyone’s tastes or interests almost without limitations. There are, however, a few inherent attributes every good bookmark should possess without argument:
edition should have a bookmark to match its rare character. A paperback novel should have a bookmark equal to its casual enjoyable demeanor. Dad should have bookmarks to address his interests and stature. Mom should have bookmarks to match hers. Of course, all children should have bookmarks. How enjoyable it is for little kids to make or pick out their own bookmarks even before they are old enough to know how to read. It could be argued that a collection of bookmarks at an early age could encourage the act of reading. Serving as material inspiration for each young child to grab a book and sound out its words. Students need bookmarks to highlight their studies, and professionals need bookmarks to easily access their work. Bookmarks can be purchased from a variety of stores and venues. They range from cheap promotional ones to bejeweled metallic spectacles. While sold virtually everywhere, the best bookmarks are those that are made. These are the bookmarks that offer the most character and authentic personal expression.
With such liberal constraints on design, a bookmark could be created from all sorts of materials. Anything thin but not too frail could be pressed between a book’s covers. Materials could include such things but are not limited to:
How to make a bookmark by hand can include such ideas as using scissors or an X-acto knife to cut thin six by two inch pieces of paper. It could be any kind of paper from colorful construction paper to card stock. The dimensions are not written in stone. It could be slightly wider or taller based on preference. The point being, they are your bookmarks to design any individual way you see fit. The strips of paper act as canvases, a Carte Blanche for one’s imagination. You could have a child draw a picture on one strip of paper and laminate it to preserve the color and make the paper more durable, or have all your kids make you or themselves one. You could then use a hole punch to punch a hole on the top and place ribbon or tassels or charms. Instead of having a child paint or draw, you could do a collage of your own liking or print words that inspire you. Making bookmarks can be a great activity for a rainy weekend, or as a fun, creative activity for a party. Everyone can design and make their own bookmark using a plethora of various materials and ideas. Maybe everyone could sign a bookmark and use that to commemorate a certain date or time. The possibilities are endless.
How to make a bookmark using a bookmark template is even easier. You can simply cut a piece of cardboard into a six by two template and use that as a bookmark template to make bookmarks out of anything from old photographs to worn cut up denim. A printable bookmark template is the easiest, and best way to make custom bookmarks for your entire book collection or to give away to all your bookworm friends. Simply go to a site that offers a selection. Find a bookmark template to choose from and print out as many as you would like. Choose the design or patterns you like best, and hit print, print, print. It is that easy.
A printable bookmark template offers readers the opportunity not only of variety and ease, but of quantity. How many times have we purchased a favorite bookmark only to lose it on our travels or leave it on the beach. With a printable bookmark template, you can find a favorite bookmark and print as many of them as you would like or need. Imagine having a bookmark for every book in your library. Imagine being able to choose from countless designs and templates to print out your own bookmarks whenever you want and need. You could match a bookmark to it’s cover, or print them out to give to friends or loved ones,. to include in cards or thank you notes. In fact, the book marks themselves could be personally designed to be the thank you note with your sentiments of gratitude clearly spelled out by you as part of its unique design.
The best thing about printable bookmarks is the ability to reflect the varied interests of those who they will serve. If you are an animal lover, find adorable temples displaying cuddly little creatures or find animal themed templates. If you like sports, find templates which highlight your favorite sport, or better yet, templates with logos of your favorite team. If you are an art lover, find those templates with your favorite paintings or photographs, or you can create your own abstract patterns yourself. Nature lovers can find templates with the pristine settings of the forest or sea. A traveler can have bookmarks featuring landmarks of all the places he or she has been, or all the places they dream of going in the future. Personal photographs could be cropped and used in various bookmark templates to add an extremely personal element to your bookmarks. These can be anything from family photos to scanned vintage photos. You can even use downloadable photos off the internet to create bookmarks which serve as miniature vision boards. Each bookmark then becoming an inspirational visual aide to our deepest dreams and desires. Comic book lovers can include great comic book characters from Batman to the mindless zombies featured in the popular series The Walking Dead. Favorite books or music can be turned into a bookmark easily with a quick internet search, and the touch of a button. Bookmark templates can reflect our religious choices, and our political affiliations. To think, we were using a simple paper clip to mark our pages all this time. Bookmarks can be as interesting as the people using them, and bookmark templates help make that possible.
Every book should have a bookmark. It could be argued that some books are best served by having more than one. A person could turn to these easily referenced pages and find the words they are looking for without having to surf through the entire book looking for a passage. Also, it should be noted, with the use of bookmarks, two or more people could read the same book at the same time using different bookmarks to make each individual’s progress. This is a great activity that could involve the entire family in great discussions over the dinner table regarding a particular book. Book clubs could hand out bookmarks as a symbolic gesture of membership. Libraries and bookstores could give free bookmarks to encourage readership. Bookmarks could be used as marketing devices, advertisements for various businesses, or civic events. Most everyone has used a bookmark on one occasion or another. Even the most adverse readers have found a use for them from time to time. Bookmarks can serve more functions than merely marking the pages of a book. A blank bookmark could be used to doodle during class or write down words that one does not know and wishes to look up. Favorite quotes could be added to bookmarks as well as the scent of a favorite perfume or cologne.
Even before the printing press ushered in the mass production of literature, bookmarks have found their place among handwritten volumes and Coptic codices. The truth of the matter is bookmarks have been around for as long as there have been books. For close to two thousand years these practical little solutions have been aiding readers in one form or another. How often have we grabbed whatever was next to us from a pen to a napkin in order to mark our place in the book we are reading? The reality is, however, that bookmarks do not have to be merely pragmatic instruments. They can be fun, creative and even down right inspiring. They can be used to compile endless quotes or to highlight favorite interests of hobbies. Bookmarks are the personal expression of each individual reader. They are the markers of time and distance invested in a particular piece of work. How we use them may differ based on specific demographics and interests, but their need remains relatively universal. There are as many different bookmarks as their are people who use them. Does it not seem fitting then for these unique forms of expression to be tailored as such? Bookmarks should reflect the people who use them. What better way to do that, then to start making them yourself.
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