I admit it. I almost never use a bookmark (I do use them for hardcover editions that I consider collectible, such as my Outlander books). I dog-ear the pages of my books, even the ones I get from the library or friends. Terrible, right?
Now before you go judging me and never lend me another book, let me explain myself. Reading a print book is, by nature, a physical act. When I read a print book, I am engaging with not only with the story, but with the paper and the words printed on the pages. While I love my Kindle, there’s just something about putting your hands on the pages, smelling the fresh ink of a brand new book or the mustiness of a thrift store find. And it is that very physicality that leads me to simply dog-ear a page when I need to close the book. The many dog-eared pages that make up my book collection are all evidence of the love I have for my books.
Inserting a bookmark between the pages of a book is a somewhat detached way of marking my place. It feels too much like distancing myself from the book, suddenly closing the book around a bookmark without leaving my own mark on the pages. No matter where I dog-ear the page (left or right, small or big), I always have a much easier time finding my place than with a bookmark. A dog-eared page almost feels like a brief goodbye hug, one that holds the promise of a swift return.
So if you have a problem with dog-eared pages, you probably don’t want to lend me your books. But if you, like I, see dog-ears as a sign of affection, I’m happy to add my dog-ears to yours.