Tuesday 10 September 2013


I have mentioned before that I am bowing to the inevitable and I have embraced ebooks. I don’t think anyone can make an argument that over time, books, magazines and newspapers will be replaced by some kind of electronic medium. It might not be the current eReaders, phones or one of the many tablets that are in the market place now, but something will replace paper. I am going to miss paper, but not as much as Canada’s pulp and paper industry will.
`The eReaders are pretty slick, they can hold thousands of books, magazines and some of the more expensive ones could even read this blog. The one I have, you need to push a button to turn it on, push a button to select the book and push a button to turn the page. When I have finished my reading session, I press a button and the book will wait patiently for me to push that button again and it will open at the page I was last reading. An electronic book mark! Yeah…I don’t like that so much.

The other day I was looking for some information in one of my books, and when I opened it, there was a PARTICIPANT ribbon that Maegan earned in some activity or other when she was little. Now, that is a bookmark! Whenever you open that book, not only has the page been kept for years, but when I held that ribbon, my eyes misted over for just a moment. Bookmarks for me have always had meaning.

Some people that I know just fold over a corner of the page or even the whole page. I have always felt that to be a little disrespectful of the book. Books deserve to be treated with respect and reverence. I always take the cover off of a new book to preserve it, or I make a paper cover to fit over the books cover. It may seem silly, but I learned how to treat books from Mrs. Cunningham in grade six and have paid attention to that lesson my whole life.
I’ve always used bookmarks that have meaning for me, well, not always, sometimes when my book mark mysteriously disappears I have in the past used bits torn off of newspapers, tissues or even a square of toilet paper. I used a hockey card that had been torn in half for a couple of decades. That torn “Edie Shack” card was the one that I used to win most of the hockey cards I have or had. It was good luck! I used a picture of Louise and the kids for quite a while and I had a concert ticket stub from an Arlo Guthrie concert that stayed with me through my first reading of The Lord Of The Rings.

For the past couple of years, I have been using copper gift tags with a ribbon that I make myself. The copper tag will usually fit down the spine of the book leaving just the ribbon out to mark my place. Sometimes I will press words into the copper with some metal letters that I have. The current one says “Books will set you free”, but I have used “bookmark”, “television is the best” and “ken’s bookmark”. Nothing earth shaking or impressive, after all, it is just a bookmark. I have seen these little metal clips that they sell at Chapters and I am intrigued by them. Perhaps I will try them out in the next decade or so and I will let you know how they work.
 I don’t think books will disappear during my lifetime, but I do wish the makers of the eReaders would come up with a way for us to use bookmarks that have meaning for us. Maybe I should suggest it to the Kobo people.

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