This lovely little demon comes from a bookmark I picked up years ago while traveling in Spain; he’s from a fifteenth-century painting of the temptation of St. Anthony in the Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao.
I shoved him in my copy of Beckett’s Murphy, which I had with me at the time, and promptly forgot about him till last week, when I decided to reread the book. Of course, the rereading alone was a pleasure, but it was also nice to reacquaint myself with the bookmark, which I’d always felt was a nice match for the book’s odd, desperate humor (also, Beckett had something of an affinity for medieval sensibilities).
Usually, I keep a collection of old ticket stubs to use as bookmarks — they’re the perfect size and weight, and it’s nice to be reminded of a particular concert or museum as I read. But if a book really speaks to me, I like to choose something that’s especially meaningful and leave it there for future returns. A pretty Japanese bookmark my aunt gave me lives in my copy of Anna Karenina; in Ulysses (which I admittedly haven’t touched since college), it’s a piece of repurposed cardstock with an image of blue sky and clouds. In some books, I simply leave one of my favorite ticket stubs behind — Mrs. Dalloway is home to a stub from Vienna’s Belvedere Gallery, while To The Lighthouse guards a stub from the Frick. It’s basically a way of saying I plan to come back to the book.
What are your bookmark routines?