Bookmarks and where to keep them, and the third giveaway!

by Ahalya on September 29, 2009

I have a very annoying habit when it comes to bookmarks. I get cranky if my bookmark is moved, but I often don’t mark my place when I am reading. If, for instance, I am reading a book, and I happen to close it, say 10 times through the entire read, I mark my place maybe twice or thrice. This annoys me. And what annoys me even more is that I invest a lot of time making bookmarks! I harassed a dry leaf and decorated it with ribbons, made origami kitten bookmarks, and even tore out a teeny piece from mom’s sari to make a fabric bookmark. All this is not conducive to a beautiful mind.

I wish there was an automatic bookmark. Automatic but not a gadget. Yes, i know, it’s called memorising the page number. Ok, fine, smartypants.

But, bookmarks have nothing to do with today’s giveaway. Although I would love to hear from you about whether you religiously mark your spot with a bookmark when you are about to close the book (all those who press down the top of the page…. all I have to tell you is, eeeek, you meanie!) The question for today is quite somber: Will you buy electronic gadgets to read books? If you will, will you abandon book books entirely? Remember, e-books are cheaper than paper books…

There that’s all for today. And Puja, how does it feel to win the first giveaway?! Tell us all about it! and before you ask, I used the list generator on to choose the winner πŸ™‚ I had to, my best friend is participating!

The winner of the second giveaway will be announced later in the day. Rules same as before. And if you have any problems posting the comment, mail me:

May you win πŸ™‚

The winner for this giveaway has been chosen, but discussions can continue!

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

~`aditi`~ September 29, 2009 at 9:38 am

An electronic gadget is suitable for similarly unenchanting electronic books! I mean, you simply cannot replicate the intoxication of crsip, yellow, musky pages. Half the joy of reading a good book is in holding it. (I have no book fetish, I promise.) So, it is simply is not possible to love someone like Octavio Paz or Gabriel Garcia Marquez quite as much on a Kindle as in a beautiful paperback edition.

Having said that, sometimes weΒ΄re curious about crap, like say — Twilight. Who, in their right minds, would pay 600 bucks per Twilight installment? ItΒ΄s criminal! And yet, you wanna know what all the hype is about; if for no other reason than bitching in an educated manner. ThatΒ΄s where the electronic book comes in handy πŸ˜€ Similarly, for educational material etc. which costs a fortune anyways and has nothing to add by holding and smelling, an electronic device is adequate.

To answer your question on the previous post: The Cinnamon Peeler is one of my favourite books of poetry. The title poem is just unbelievably good. Read it here:


~`aditi`~ September 29, 2009 at 10:01 am

And bookmarks, bookmarks! I religiously use bookmarks. Mostly because I have a massive collection of incredibly beautiful bookmarks. They range from Egyptian papyrus bookmarks, to beaded bookmarks from South Africa to gold plated bookmarks from Japan and handloom cloth from India. There are also wooden bookmarks and metal book clips. My favourite is a series of bookmarks that my friend made for me. ItΒ΄s a collection of twelve of my favourite authors. Their pictures, their book covers, their quotes and their signature. Delightful, isnΒ΄t it?! πŸ™‚


Swapna September 29, 2009 at 11:33 am

The one reason I might buy a gadget for books is for the volume of stuff it can carry. Otherwise I don’t think I would. You can’t turn back so easily, for example. To check things.
Yes, it would save space and stop my husband from nagging me to stop buying/give away books. But it isn’t as evocative somehow…I like smelling books.
I never use bookmarks and don’t always memorise the page number either. Either I finish the book without closing it, or I flip through until I remember the place I left the characters at.


kunal September 29, 2009 at 12:10 pm

i like pretty much only mad book marks which say that the person dsnt read, but picks his toe nails using them, etc etc.
i use cds, pens, other books[ which i am also reading], just about anything but a book mark. but the real trick i followed is complete the book[ which i have been capable of doing daily for years, alas not anymore]and hence the cd’s etc.
i read bits and pieces articles on the net. call it old fashion, to me to hold a book, turn the page, have a coffee mug with me and read… is oooooooooooooo, celebration in itself. perhaps the e book is better for the environment[ i buy 98 % of my books second hand, so that is good too :)]
i also write my poems by hand and not on the comp. i do like to read, in the old fashion way, rather than on the computer, no matter how old it would seem πŸ™‚ something are beautiful in that way.
cant imagine a classy leather covered computer being a classy book… :P:P:P


kunal September 29, 2009 at 12:11 pm

and puja. congrats :)))


Puja September 29, 2009 at 11:53 pm

Hey Kunal, thanks… am hoping i get to copy paste these words for you as well and soon:)


Arjun B September 29, 2009 at 12:17 pm


Mine generally tend to be stolen. I tend to pick up tons of free ones from Landmark, Odyssey, Crossword u name it, but they never seem to last πŸ™ But since I have started working I have realized that the best bookmarks are visiting cards πŸ™‚ You always carry a bunch with you and nobody else seems to want them anyway so you might as well put them to some good use πŸ™‚

E-books are all nice and convenient and yes, I will admit I have read plenty. But thats only to read copies of books I cant get physically or to well look busy when u have nothing better to do but the boss is around πŸ˜› But I doubt I would buy a device specifically to read e-books. I have an e-book reader in my phone and my laptop and I think that covers my needs more than adequately should the need ever arise. (Yes, I have read e-books on the phone too) Its not something I am proud of, but when u are travelling extensively and forget to pick up a book then its a good thing to be able to carry ur best friend in your pocket πŸ™‚ Dont you think so?


sonal September 29, 2009 at 12:19 pm

my bookmarks have been memories. I have this habit of converting clothes tags into bookmarks. So, for starters i have the Levis and their hippity hop hot butt jutting her way into my pages.. of my magazine called GEO as aboriginals stare at her not knowing what to make of the specie. tantra t-shirts have sum kewl tags.. with graffiti all round them.. always a pleasure to read those..anytime anywhere. All sorts of kewl funky designs especially on the visiting card of the hair salon Mad o Wot to remind me that u can have those crazeee ideas for design and have clients who’ll pay you too for it.. the pundole art gallery and their exhibits on the visiting card form a ever refreshing image of the current art world.. a Lot of my africa photographs i got them made into fun bookmarks like the giraffe actually strainings it’s neck into the confined space, the army of wilderbeast with the sun behind them making for national geographic live all the time.. flamingoes and their dancing feet at lake nakuru.. my most cherishable memories. Also a whole lot of crossword stolen bookmarks.. with their wise assss quotes.. dont mind them too. πŸ™‚


Nithya Ravi September 29, 2009 at 1:00 pm

I’ve used e-books… managed to read a whole one even but somehow, it doesn’t do the trick for me. Yes, I’ll use them if I can’t find the paper book but there’s something so tactile about a paper book – lying down in bed, turning pages, the smell of old books, the feel of different kinds of paper under my fingers, the ease of flipping back and forth, the comfort of folding a corner to remember the page… I could go on and on. There’s so much that an e-book cannot even begin to compete with for the simple reason that some of my best memories are with books. Kids today might find themselves more at ease with ebooks and I dare say a tad less sentimental. Not so for me. Am still in love with the smell of that old George Bernard Shaw book that my mum has πŸ™‚


indrojit September 29, 2009 at 1:04 pm

mmm the joy of holding a book and reading 3-4 pages before going to sleep is simply irreplaceable. Having growing up on a diet of books and stories and if I am not able to hold a book, turn a page, visualize the essence, dream a story, reach out to those thick black words, then there is no happy sleep.
After a days work of being glued to the computer, my hands long to hold a book and eyes crave to read something from the paper. An ebook may be cheaper, easy to use but a bed time story reading will not be the same, ever.

and coming to bookmarks, I read somewhere- why spend a dollar on getting a bookmark, while you can use the dollar as the bookmark πŸ™‚


admin September 29, 2009 at 1:15 pm

I am so enjoying this, I cannot tell you! I am refreshing the window constantly just to catch new comments as they come in! Incidentally, did you know about the OTHER BOOK GIVEAWAY? Meethil Momaya, a wonderful wildlife photographer, is running one on his blog and his books, related to wildlife, are all valuable possessions too! Go visit him if you can, all friends invited.

I am gathering all my thoughts for the comments coming in! I love you guys. You are the angels. πŸ™‚


Divya September 29, 2009 at 1:21 pm

An emphatic β€˜NO’. Not only because I’m technologically obsolete. It’s like giving away the snail mail for e-mail. The art of writing giving way to the art of typing… What happened before β€˜backspace’ and Cntrl+Dlt nudged their way into our lives? Disgusted. (and melodramatic)!
Coming back to the point, the pleasure of reading a book can never be replaced by a chic gadget. Why divya? If the content is the same, how does it make a difference? Er, I am not the right person to be asked that for I have bought books (also) based on face value. And, it does makes a difference. The scent of a book, the colour of the paper (the older the better), the fascinating (sometimes) cover, etc etc. And, what about all the bookmarks the author of this blog makes? Books, any time!. E-books? I’ll have to consult with the origami cat.
May I win.


Vishal Devgon September 29, 2009 at 2:08 pm

e-books, with internet wide and rampant and piracy ruling high, are available free (as in free beer). And though i like to have ebook collection of my favourite authors, but nothing beats the paper book. Though i’m not an avid reader but generally i’m going through 3-4 books at a time. So memorising page numbers don’t do the trick for me. And am lousy at using bookmarks – any of them – string, paper, dog eared pages, or any other. So my best bet is to rely on my memory of where i left the book. Just browsing and scanning the pages gives me the feeling of Deja-vu and if i can recall i would go further otherwise i don’t mind reading a couple of pages again and again since i couldnt recall the content.
And with random number generator in place each one here has 100% probability of winning. Though only one will win , but in the end there are’nt any losers here.


Deepika Mital September 29, 2009 at 4:38 pm

E books – must confess I dont like the idea of it – speaking from the heart , that is. This also maybe because I am technologically challenged, but even so a book is something to hold, smooth, touch, feel and enjoy. Yes, my head does tell me that an e-book is just as good, better even because it saves on paper and is much quicker. A friend has been asking me to check out his Kindle, but havent really given it a serious thought, because here’s a thought – how do you lend it? Isn’t that sad – if you cant share a good book- it’s worth is so diminished – at least for me. The joy of reading a good book is doubled, nay quadrupled, the moment you can initiate others into it!
Bookmarks – aah a lifetime of making them and ‘trying’ to use them to no avail. Love the idea of using them – it seems so ‘organised’ a way to live….but never can carry through with it. Have the most beautiful ones – ivory, sandalwood, paper – all just floating around in some parallel world! So now just rely on speed reading till I reach where I was – especially fun if it is a good book. Bye bye bookmarks.
And yes – those who turn down corners of pages – there is a god somewhere….beware!!!


Neha September 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm

What a great idea.
And a nice homepage too.

I keep bookmarks around my books, so they are mostly easily available.
I might buy, but will not abandon dearest book books.



Vandana Karve September 29, 2009 at 9:26 pm

I will never forget the thrill I felt when I held a brand new book in my hand and smelt the fragrance of a fresh book. There are some things which an e-book can give you. Cheap, mobile, accessible- blah blah. But there are some things which only a paperback can give. The thrill of a nice big fat book. The joy of turning each page waiting to see what happens next. The sneak peaks at page 245 to check if you want to read ahead or not ( ok so I cheat), the joy of opening your bookshelf on a lazy rainy day and picking up an old favourite to pass the time. Nopes, call me old fashioned but a book in the hand is worth 50 on my e-reader.


pawan September 29, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Naah, I just hate electronic books. God knows, there have been times when I’ve downloaded ebooks by dozens and decided that I will read them. But naah, it never worked. They still lie in forgotten nooks and corners of my laptop. Its just no fun. I do read a lot of blogs. But books, no, I want them on good old paper. Even if its a little unfriendly to the environment:(


Hetal Hariya September 29, 2009 at 9:55 pm

I don’t think I would buy electronic gadgets to read books.
Abandon book books? Nay, never. E-books can never be a replacement for book books, for the complete experience of reading. The texture, the smell, the colour of the pages! The feel of the cover. The movement of fingers as you turn the page while your eyes are still at the second last word. The flipping of pages to see if that was where you left off, when you forgot to place the bookmark. The solace of the book on a rainy day, when the power goes off – and you cannot have to be distracted by the world-wide-web or the television – with just the sounds of raindrops.
I would rather cut down on other luxuries – like I have in the past – to be able to buy a book book, though it might cost more than the e-copy!


Hetal Hariya September 29, 2009 at 10:01 pm

I don’t think I would buy electronic gadgets to read books.
Abandon book books? Nay, never. E-books can never be a replacement for book books, for the complete experience of reading. The texture, the smell, the colour of the pages! The feel of the cover. The movement of fingers as you turn the page while your eyes are still at the second last word. The flipping of pages to see if that was where you left off, when you forgot to place the bookmark (I don’t religiously mark my page with a bookmark, but now as the time between reads increases, I am beginning to. Yet, it often takes a while to figure out the exact spot). The solace of the book on a rainy day, when the power goes off – and you cannot be distracted by the world-wide-web or the television – with just the sounds of raindrops for company.
I would rather cut down on other luxuries – like I have in the past – to be able to buy a book book, though it might cost more than the e-copy!


admin September 29, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Another day full of interesting conversations about books! I am so glad all of us are on the same ‘page’ now πŸ™‚

I am really not surprised about all of us preferring books over the e-readers! Thank God! I know, I know, save the environment, but as Kunal pointed out, recycling books is very environmentally friendly and I guess we could all do that, right? And then again, what about all the resources spent in making an e-reader, surely that is as bad as chopping down trees? Ok, maybe not as bad, but not completely good either. I saw a Sony Reader recently, it takes it 1.5 seconds to turn the page! Imagine that! 1.5 long seconds. To Turn The Page. Really now! That’s ridiculous. Oh, and no colour. So you aren’t going to enjoy the kiddy classics you aren’t.
Hmph, I need my inadequate bookcases, and my origami cat bookmark thank you very much. Ha, I felt better claiming this victory.

Vandana: You are a ‘sneak peeker’! Why, I never knew that! That’s abominable!!! πŸ™‚

Neha: Thanks for coming by! And for the vote for our good old books!

Deepika!!! So well written! I am amazed at how well you have put it, this must become the official words against e-readers. When I read the bit about not being able to share good books then, I suddenly realised how sad and unnecessary e-books are. “The joy of reading a good book is doubled, nay quadrupled, the moment you can initiate others into it!” Wah, applause!!!

Vishal, yes I know. I have e-books. At least 70. And I have only really read one. So I know what you mean. And about the deja-vu bit …. πŸ™‚ I have felt that way too!

Divya! Yes, yes, once again I am head over heels agreeing with you! I loved this: “The art of writing giving way to the art of typing…” I am hoping to reclaim that art, nerdy as it sounds. I am tired of not having a fountain pen and notebooks that look used, thanks for reminding me that I need to write write!

Indrojit! “After a days work of being glued to the computer, my hands long to hold a book and eyes crave to read something from the paper. An ebook may be cheaper, easy to use but a bed time story reading will not be the same, ever.” You know, this is fascinating! All this time, I thought I was just being old-fashioned, but how nice that there are those who use technology where its necessary and embrace books at night! Thanks for being such a good loyal reader. And hey, if you using dollars as bookmarks, I am going to borrow books from you very often. πŸ™‚

Dear Nithya: Here’s to your mum’s books! Aren’t old books awesome? Especially if you know the original owner. I agree with you e-books are all fine the way they are, but we hardcore junkies need our paper. πŸ™‚

Sonal, sonal, sonal! Aboriginals! Really! You harass them so!? But I loved the idea of using tags as bookmarks! I am shocked I never thought of it! Thanks for the tip!

Arjun! “its a good thing to be able to carry ur best friend in your pocket” yes YES YES! I know, these e-readers have an advantage when it comes to portability. I don’t deny it! And about reading when your boss is around… you brave man! Wow, the number of times I found myself twisting this way and that, so my boss wouldn’t see me read an e-book is not even funny. Point noted, an e-reader is better than having no book at all! TRUE!

Kunal, CDs? Really? what abt scratches? I just used my dog’s tail (while he was sleeping) and the bugger moved :/

Swapna: I know, the sheer space that an e-reader saves is worth its weight in gold, maybe. And I do the flipping to the right page trick, too. And sometimes I find a passage I didn’t remember reading and I guiltily re-read it :/

Aditi, I envy you. Egyptian papyrus bookmarks did you say? Well, well, well! Gold plated ones?! :/ mumble mumble…
Oh and I absolutely agree about not wanting to pay for books I won’t read ever again. I have a few ideas about that, will share them with everyone once it gets finalised, sometime next week I hope!

Dear Hetal, “The movement of fingers as you turn the page while your eyes are still at the second last word,” ah yes, thats the poetry in reading. Loved the way you put it! And the bit about flipping back to see where you had left off! So glad you could put that down in words! I never could!

Pawan, i am sure its all the unread ebooks that slows my computer down. Lurking in forgotten folders…

About the whole being unfriendly to the environment bit.. wait, let’s back up. Ok, so we are looking at the paper industry, but are books really chomping down our forests, more than other paper products? What about all the printouts we take, and what about all the packaging we discard… so let’s not beat ourselves up quite so much. Let’s recycle and buy wisely. I think print on demand has something valuable to offer environment-conscious readers like us, what say?

I am going to close comments to this post at 12! And then posting the question for the Fourth Giveaway and the winner of the Second Giveaway πŸ™‚


Puja September 29, 2009 at 11:50 pm

I realise that as usual, Ahalya, your thoughts are running in a zillion directions at the same time so we have bookmarks and a question which has nothing to do with bookmarks:)

Starting with bookmarks, yes i do use them, to be more specific i use it… i have this absolutely meant for a good book bookmark which i use but only for books long awaited, hard to get and dear to me… The rest of the books have to be content with the ones from Crosswords, Landmark, Oxford and what not…do i sound dicriminatory and one accustomed to giving preferential treatment to a select few?… yes…well, I am glad i sound like myself:)

Now, onto electronic readers… yes, while travelling and sitting around at an airport waiting to leave…. you can’t deny the convenience of holding multiple options in one slim gadget… but for the pleasure of reading… NO..

So while lounging by the poolside of a dreamy resort or while lying in a hammock…even while snuggling in the warmth of a quilt on a winter night or while drinking coffee on a rainy day… i say a big YES to real books.. the ones you can hold… and keep looking at… and caress the spine and the paper of cos it is a precious gift to yourself… and darn good company, i might add..

Can the wonder of being in a library or a bookstore ever be replaced with files in a reader? Can the rustle of papaer being turned ever be replaced by an icon on an electronic screen? I don’t even have to try and answer this… We all know where our heart lies…


admin September 30, 2009 at 12:10 am

Puja! You are a celebrity here my lady! Oh, are the extra bits, like talking about other stuff like the bookmark thing, putting people off? :< let me know, let me know! Puja is right, my thoughts fire off in a zillion directions at the same time! But, I love reading what you all are writing and this is one chance at a connection with crazy readers that I don't want to miss! πŸ™‚ And yes, Puja, I agree, "we all know where our heart lies"! About you being a bookmarkist.. well, it's alright πŸ˜‰ I guess we all have our quirks, but I think your quirk must be the most unique!


Meethil September 30, 2009 at 12:13 am

Yes, i will buy a dedicated reader like the Kindle or the Sony Reader.

We are always apprehensive of new technology before it is in our hands. I understand that its a screen and not paper – but what if it feels like you are reading paper? Is it ok with you then? Companies are working to make e-readers more eye-friendly. It is not the same as your computer monitors or LCD screens is different.

The advantage of a reader are: One time cost, easy to store, possible to carry more number of books, books will become cheaper, paper will be saved, trees will be saved, environment will improve, you will live longer, you will read more books.

The list sure beats hollow the advantage of paper books. Or as the author call is – books books.

I don’t see anyone complaining that they miss LPs. We have very well adapted to MP3 even though most of us have at least one ear that cannot hold on to the ear phones.

Its just a matter of time. before everyone who commented here will be reading a e-reader.


admin September 30, 2009 at 12:19 am

Hello Meethil πŸ™‚ nice of you to drop by. How is your book giveaway running?
Ok, before I get to your interesting observation, let me ask you, how will you share books, if you had an e-reader?
But, I must admit, you got me at “you will live longer, you will read more books”. Now, that, is tempting. I know the reader has its advantages, but I think that most people are going to stubbornly, loyally hold on to their books, for as long as possible. LPs didn’t have loyalists the way books did. And books are an older tradition. you could say we evolved with books and books evolved with us. The gadget has stopped feeling like evolution… know what I mean?


Aditya October 3, 2009 at 11:22 am

In short… NO… tried audiobooks, they are painful. I am not used to consuming fiction in someone else’s voice. I like how I read the books in my head… and the audiobooks are painfully slow.
However, I would, and have purchased a gadget – the Cowon D2+, not just for music, but something related. has a bunch of lectures from reputed collages around the world (Yale, Stanford etc) that are available for download for free under a creative commons license. I listen to these lectures while travelling.


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