Sunday, 26 February 2012

Forgotten Bookmarks by Michael Popek

I first became aware of this book by reading a blog written by someone. I then followed a load of links and eventually was introduced to the book, the website, Facebook page and the twitter feed. I added the book to my Amazon list and my intended next order. The book arrived under the Christmas tree, courtesy of my Mum and I have spent the last couple of months reading the book cover to cover and then delving back into random pages. 

In short I loved this book! The cover has a "read me" feel to it and once inside, the pages have an old feel to them. This is truly a collection of bits that have been found in random books by the author. Each page is filled with a photograph of the forgotten bookmark, a transcript of it along with a photograph and details of the book it was found in. There is no rhyme or reasoning behind the bookmarks used. Some are photographs, others are recipes and receipts, letters, postcards, beer mats and even a couple of actual bookmarks. The books they were left in are a mix of older books from the late 19th Century up until 2001. 

These bookmarks are so much more than that. They are snapshots of someone's life, a glimpse into their world, even if for a short time. We have all done it, simply grabbed the nearest thing we could use as a bookmark, rummaged in a handbag,purse or wallet, or perhaps a notebook, even perhaps the corner from a magazine, book, newspaper. I have even been known to use an unused tissue or a square of toilet paper! It isn't just the book these marks were left in, or the mark itself, perhaps it is also where the former reader left the book mark. What was it on that particular page that they found interesting? Or did someone else stumble across the book with the page marked and move the book mark. Whatever the reason or cause this is a great book to disappear into, with pondering and speculation of a previous owner or world we, as readers can never discover.


  1. I haven't seen the book yet but I've been following his blog for a year or so. Now I really want to get my hands on the book!

    I find it amazing that he has time (or takes time) to photograph everything. And he does such a good job of it, too.

    1. I guess we always find the time for the things we love! It might be worth checking that you are still following. I discovered this week that several blogs I know I was following were no longer listed and I had to follow again!

  2. Thanks for the recommendation Julie. I found a shopping list in my second-hand Marguerite Patten cookbook recently (the one on Weekend Cooking); I wonder if the recipe ever got made.

    1. I know, fascinating snippets of someone's life. Perhaps you could make it and post to Weekend Cooking?


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