We’ve all done it without a thought. Before pausing in a book, we grab what is nearest and put it between the pages. Maybe it serves as a bookmark for our reading’s duration, or maybe we never pick up the book again. Either way, the erstwhile bookmark stays with the book. Then the book leaves us with that serendipitous bit still resting inside, only to eventually find its way to another owner.
Michael Popek’s Forgotten Bookmarks is an illustrated collection of what Popek has found tucked within books during his years as a bookseller: photos, receipts, recipes, letters, cap gun caps, baseball cards, dog tags, poems, and all manner of other things. Although many of the examples here are not all that interesting, this still fires the imagination as we connect with readers from years or decades ago pausing in their reading and using whatever is at hand to mark a place.
Our reading lives are private (unless, of course, we’re on Goodreads), as are the ephemera and scraps of notes we have scattered around us in our personal lives. Forgotten Bookmarks reveals glimpses of the reading lives and a something a little more intimate about the earlier owners of the books he includes.
For a flavor of Forgotten Bookmarks, take a look at www.forgottenbookmarks.com.